Fears are growing for the mental health of four seafarers from hijacked German boxship Hansa Stavanger.
Fears are growing for the mental health of four seafarers from hijacked German boxship Hansa Stavanger, who have been detained by pirates deep within Somali territory for several weeks while being subjected to death threats and other ill-treatment.
The fate of the three Germans and one Russian national, some of whom are described by one source as ?rapidly losing the plot?, has been known in shipping security circles for several weeks, but with tacit agreement not to make it public. But the silence has now been broken, after German news magazine Der Spiegel reported on the case over the weekend.
Rather than being held onboard ship, as is the usual pirate practice, the hostages are at a location at least one hour inland from the Somali coast.
Shipping security sources have for some time talked of a wider political deal in the offing, under which several captured ships would be freed more or less simultaneously, following political pressure from Somali factions. In return, western governments have promised to reciprocate by making additional aid available.