Indian seafarers protest pirate Asphalt Venture hostage-keeping

piratemarchmicroIndian seafarers marched in Mumbai yesterday to demand action against piracy. The march was organized by the National Union of Seafarers of India (NUSI), the Maritime Union of India as well as shipowners' representatives. Its aim was to show solidarity with the seven crew members of the Asphalt Venture held hostage in Somalia despite the fact that a ransom was paid. In addition, the event was intended as an expression of support for all seafarers of all nationalities and participants pressed governments around the world to step up action on piracy, as they delivered a petition to the directorate general of shipping.


Abdulgani Y Serang, NUSI general secretary/treasurer said: "We are not aware of the whereabouts of the seven Asphalt Venture seafarers but have been given to understand that this hostage-taking was in retaliation for the capture of more than 100 pirates by the Indian authorities."

He continued: "Over the past few years, particularly since 2008, many Indian seafarers have been taken hostage by the pirates from Somalia.

"The Indian government has shown leadership in combating the menace of piracy. It has sent its navy and has captured pirates in the Indian Ocean. This is indeed commendable, but more needs to be done by all governments to protect seafarers from piracy."

April 28, 2011

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