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Somali pirate stories were seemingly all the rage 3 - 4 years ago, in what I thought would likely be the beginning of a deluge of pirate movies, all fashioned after the piracy stories the media fell in love with, but failed to properly vet.
Of the many films that were announced, the highest profile of the bunch to finally become a reality is Columbia Pictures’ Paul Greengrass-directed adaptation of the story of Richard Phillips - the captain of one of the ships captured by Somalis (the Maersk Alabama), later rescued by the U.S. Navy, with Tom Hanks starring.
Titled Captain Phillips, the film opens wide this weekend. I haven’t seen it yet, but I will. Not only am I a fan of the starring actor and the film’s director, I’m also obviously very curious to see how this particular film handles the “Somali Piracy Issue.”
Not that I’m expecting anything groundbreaking in terms of depictions, but from the handful of reactions I’ve read/heard from those who’ve seen it, Greengrass does attempt to make actor Barkhad Abdi’s Somali pirate leader (Abduwali Abdukhad Muse, who’s currently serving 30 years in an Indiana prison), 3-dimensional and complex. But it’s still ultimately the title character’s story, as played by Tom Hanks. And as I noted in a previous post, it would be great, for once, to have a story like this, of this caliber, be told strictly from Muse’s POV, giving the audience a well-rounded picture of his universe, his journey, his background, his family, etc, and what led him to become the man he is in the film.
The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has told Malta to pay thousands of euros in compensation to two African migrants whose rights were violated.
A Somali woman who had a miscarriage during her detention in 2011 is to receive 30,000 euros (£26,000; $40,000), plus 3,000 euros in costs.
A man alleged to be from Sierra Leone is to receive 27,000 euros in total.
The court said the woman’s prison conditions were “degrading”. Malta is a target for boatloads of migrants.
Earlier this month Malta cancelled flights it had booked to return migrants to Libya, after an emergency intervention by the ECHR.
The court in Strasbourg issued rulings on Tuesday concerning Aslya Aden Ahmed, a Somali national, and Ibrahim Suso Musa, allegedly from Sierra Leone.
In Ms Ahmed’s case, it is the first time the court has ruled against Malta for violation of Article Three of the European Convention on Human Rights - prohibition of inhuman or degrading treatment - concerning migrant detention conditions.
The judges criticised conditions at Lyster Barracks - the holding centre - where migrants were exposed to cold, a lack of female staff, lack of access to open air, denial of exercise for long periods and poor food.