Maritime unions ask UN to tackle piracy

June 18th, 2012 - 5:13 pm ICT by IANS  

Moscow, June 18 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Leaders of international maritime trade unions have written a letter to the UN, urging the organisation to take action against increasing attacks by pirates on civilian vessels.

Somali pirates pose a significant threat in the Gulf of Aden and the Arabian Sea, where they have robbed and seized numerous vessels. Some shipping firms have started hiring armed security personnel to protect their ships.

Nikolai Sukhanov, chairman of the Russian Professional Union of Sailors, said: “Cases of sailors’ abductions by pirates continue. Representatives of the fisheries committees with the International Transport Federation voice concern that sailors are still objected to humiliation and injuries as they are abducted by pirates.”

“Unfortunately, ransom is still the only guarantee for a safe liberation of sailors, but trade union leaders note that some countries want to prohibit paying ransom,” he said.

If payment of ransom for the release of captured sailors is ruled as illegal, it would lead to unpredictable consequences and jeopardize the lives of sailors.

–IANS/RIA Novosti

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