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Finnish Expert: Finland Should Prosecute Pirates

Finland should be ready to prosecute suspected Somali pirates, according to UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights, Martin Scheinin. In a YLE interview Scheinin, who is Finnish, said that freeing the suspected pirates sent the message that piracy would go unpunished.

Kansainvälisen oikeuden ja ihmisoikeuksien professori Martin Scheinin Image: Martial Trezzini / EPA

The Finnish ship Pohjanmaa’s presence would only have a deterrent effect if its actions are credible, reminded Scheinin. On that basis alone, Finland and all other nations participating in the EU’s Atalanta anti-piracy mission should be ready to prosecute suspected pirates.

Scheinin thinks that the operation began under the assumption that suspected pirates would not be brought to Finland to be prosecuted. In his opinion there is no obstacle in international law to prevent the suspected pirates caught in the Arabian Sea being prosecuted in Finland. Scheinin also points out that Finland has brought Yugoslavian war criminals to Finland to serve their sentences.

The EU should have planned the prosecution of suspected pirates in EU countries before embarking on the mission, according to Scheinin.

Yesterday the Pohjanmaa released 18 suspected pirates it had captured two weeks earlier. No state wanted to launch an investigation or prosecution against the suspects.