But these three news items tell a different story. Here's the lead sentence from the Mumbai Mirror: "Seaman Swapnil Jadhav, 25, still shivers at the slightest noise. Held captive for 33 months by pirates in Somalia, Jadhav is yet to come to terms with his release along with four other Indian sailors." The story goes on to detail the efforts of psychiatrist Dr Harish Shetty and the MPHRP to help Swapnil and the other recovering Indian sailors.
The Times Of India reports: "They are still haunted by memories of their detention: spending four months next to a freezer with a body inside, and witnessing their officers being hung upside down and tortured and the ears of a senior officer being chopped off."
Or look at this story from DNA India, quoting Dr. Shetty: “There is agitation, sleeplessness and anger. But they are strong and coping well. It will take a while to heal their body and mind.”
And these stories from several days ago in the Inquirer Global Nation and The National detail the problems that all the freed seamen are having collecting their back pay from Azal Shipping - who owe them, in most cases, over three years' wages! Think of the effect on their families at home over the past three years, as they've struggled not only with fear for their loved one's safety, but with penury as well. These family members have been victims, too.
In spite of this, one rescued sailor, 31-year old Gerald Gonzales of the Philippines, says that he will probably go back to sea after he recovers. But next time, he says, he will be more careful who he works for.
The ITF and MPHRP, among others, are working to assist the battered men and to recover their wages. This blog will be keeping our eyes and ears open for other news, or any action we can support to get justice for the former hostages.
If you hear of any such initiatives, we'd thank you to let Piracy Today know so we can help spread the word and garner support. We all owe these men our prayers and support - for, "there, but for the grace of God, go I."