Somalia's transitional government called on Russia on Friday to explain why it had cut 10 Somali pirates adrift in the Gulf on Aden without navigation equipment or much hope of survival.
Russian forces last week stormed a hijacked oil tanker in a rescue operation that killed one pirate. Russia said 10 others arrested were later set loose aboard one of the small vessels they used in the attack.
A military official said they were stripped of their weapons and navigation equipment. Russian media later quoted a military source saying the pirates were now likely dead.
"We want an explanation from Russia on the death of our citizens," Abdirasak Aden, an official at Somalia's Information Ministry, told Reuters.
"They are gangs and there is no dispute on that, but they have to get a fair trial. Dumping them in international waters was not the only choice," he said.
According to one legal expert, Russia's decision to cast the 10 Somali pirates adrift contravened its obligations to protect their lives and offer them the right to a fair trial.
"You cannot expect people to make it ashore without navigation equipment," Deborah Akoth Osiro, a Nairobi-based legal expert, told Reuters.
"If they were actually set adrift with insufficient supply, at a range of 300 nautical miles from the shore, then Russia once again failed in its positive duty to prevent foreseeable loss of life," she said.
Some pirates pledged revenge, insisting their comrades were executed by the Russians.
"We will deal with Russians unlike other hostages. We never think about harming a hostage, but we will reconsider that, and respond the same way their navies respond to us."said Isse, a pirate commander in the coastal town of Hobyo, told Reuters.
AgenciesLast Mod: 14 Mayıs 2010, 15:10