Somali pirates released, await asylum ruling

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Three Somali pirates who were detained in the Indian Ocean in 2011 were released on Friday and were then admitted to an alien detention center where they await the decision about their request for asylum.

The three men were part of a group of nine Somalis who were caught by Dutch marines in 2011, after they took fishermen hostage in the Indian Ocean. They were sentenced to 4.5 years in jail. The Court in The Hague ordered them freed on Friday because they served two-thirds of their sentence and were thus eligible for early release. State Secretary of Justice Fred Teeven reported on Saturday that the men had not been deported after their release because they had meanwhile applied for asylum in the Netherlands; they were admitted to an alien detention center because they have no homes here. The decision was frowned upon, because the men had applied for asylum while they did not flee their war-torn country, but were arrested while committing a crime in international waters. VVD Second Chamber member said it was "shameless" that the "thugs" were allowed to stay in the Netherlands. PVV urged that they still be deported .

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