A landmark sentence of life imprisonment for 10 Somali pirates, passed down in May by the Federal Criminal Court for the attempted hijacking of a UAE tanker, highlighted the country’s tough stance against piracy.
The decision was hailed as an important milestone since most nations are reluctant to prosecute pirates in fear of retaliation and the legal complexities involved.
The 10 pirates recently appealed against their sentences on grounds they came from poor societies prone to being tricked by criminals and the crew were not seriously injured in the attack.
The pirates were captured after they tried to hijack the UAE bulk oil carrier MV Arrilah-I last year.
The UAE’s tough stance is backed by a belief that piracy can be fought by strengthening local communities, providing employment and bringing stability.
In June, the country announced a US$1 million (Dh3.67million) contribution to maritime forces in Somalia to enhance counter-piracy measures.
Plans for the funds include training for Somali judges, prosecutors and law teachers in a UAE-French initiative to equip Somalia to prosecute its own citizens.