Sunday, April 13, 2008
Those of you who believe that international law is the best kind, consider the implications of this legal conundrum:
THE Royal Navy, once the scourge of brigands on the high seas, has been told by the Foreign Office not to detain pirates because doing so may breach their human rights.
Warships patrolling pirate-infested waters, such as those off Somalia, have been warned that there is also a risk that captured pirates could claim asylum in Britain.
The Foreign Office has advised that pirates sent back to Somalia could have their human rights breached because, under Islamic law, they face beheading for murder or having a hand chopped off for theft.
Freedom of the seas used to be the non-negotiable human right, essential to travel and trade and without which real freedom was not possible, and the Royal Navy was the first and greatest guarantor of that freedom. Now the international law scholars in the Foreign Office are telling the blue jackets to turn a blind eye to pirates, because if they were to capture them the navy's options would be to violate human rights law by turning them over to an Islamic legal system (at least we are finally clear that Islamic law is inconsistent with fundamental human rights) or bring them back to the United Kingdom to live off the taxpayers while their asylum petition is granted. The act of turning pirates over to the governing country is a violation of "human rights" law, but omitting to stop pirates from stealing, murdering, kidnapping and raping is precisely within the law's boundaries. The new motto of the Royal Navy must be this: "We do nothing wrong because we do nothing at all."
This, by the way, is why every responsible country needs a Gitmo. A world that gives pirates a right to counsel is in desperate need of a system of secret prisons.
MORE: A reader points out that on the subject of pirates the French, at least, do not mess around. Many of my most red-blooded readers have long believed me guilty of Francophilia, and they are right! At least this year.
In that case, you're going to have another reason to like the new French. The seem to be taking the opposite tack on pirates: http://patterico.com/2008/04/11/update-on-pirated-french-ship/
I particularly liked this comment: "I don’t think pirates will enjoy French justice..."
Would they really get their hands chopped off for theft? In my meanderings around the internet I've read several articles about dhimmi and they have impressed on me the idea that Islamic law permits stealing from infidels. I'm not certain however, according to this article Muhammad would have approved of the pirates actions but modern maintream Muslims would not.
Islamic law does have those harsh punishments, but only for hurting other Muslims. Hurting infidels is always less harshly punished, also in accordance with Islamic law. While it's technically illegal to murder or steal from a dhimmi, in practice it's almost never punished because infidels can't testify in Sharia courts and the Quran forbids Muslims from putting the interests of an infidel over that of a Muslim (which testifying against another Muslim would do). This is all moot of course, since pirates aren't attacking dhimmis, they're attacking free infidels, who aren't "protected" by the dhimma.
I have this mental image of a British ship sending a message home in some hypothetical future "At 1800 hours spotted a small vessel attempting to board a cruise ship. Upon contacting the captain of the cruise ship we determined the crew of the small vessel to be attempting a mission of piracy on the high seas. At 1830 hours the small ship was driven away from the cruise ship, and after a brief pursuit where the small craft attempted to fire upon our vessel with small arms, we engaged it with naval gunfire until it was destroyed, as the Foreign Service office had given us strict orders not to attempt to detain such pirate outright. Sincerely, Captain Sparrow of the HMS Pearl"
I think that would have a more serious effect on piracy than any number of Strongly Worded Letters from the British version of the CDT .
Link fixed CDT