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Friday, June 24, 2011

SOMALI PIRATES' HOSTAGES: We were tortured by pirates and starved for days: Sailors!

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PTI / The Hindu.

Tortured by a group of drunk pirates and starved for days together, freedom seemed distant for the six Indian sailors on board m.v. Suez, who had almost given up hope of meeting their families.
And when freedom dawned upon them after ten months in captivity of Somali pirates, they could not believe their nightmare was over and were going to be reunited with family and friends.
“We were beaten when they were drunk and they would use anything they could get their hands on to beat us. We were sure they would kill us. There were moments when I wished they would just kill us so that we escape the torture,” said N.K. Sharma, a rescued sailor.
Ravinder Singh, said, “I feel so happy. I have waited for 10 months for this moment. I didn’t think I would see this day...I thought we all would be killed.”
Torture apart, food was scarce for the sailors who starved for many days. “Some days we just got water. We used to get boiled rice, spaghetti and potato once a week,” Mr. Sharma recalled.
Adding to the ordeal, their vessel ran out of fuel and faced the danger of capsizing, said Sharma. “Besides the physical torture, we faced the danger of capsizing as our fuel had run out and we were drifting. One way or the other, we were sure our end was near,” he said.
Prashant Chauhan, another rescued sailor said that even after Pakistan human rights activist Ansar Burney facilitated their release the sailors were still not sure if their freedom was real.
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