Abduwali Abdukhadir Muse, the lone survivor of the group of Somali pirates that attempted to hijack the American-flagged Maersk Alabama last month, pleaded not guilty to piracy and conspiracy at his hearing in Federal District Court in Manhattan today. While in court, his lawyers also argued that since being in custody, Muse has been treated unfairly: He was allowed only one one-minute phone call to his mother back in Somalia, with whom he wanted to discuss his injured hand, and he's being kept practically in solitary confinement — even when he's around people, he can't talk to them, they said, because (unsurprisingly) there's a dearth of Somali translators in prison.
"He’s confused. He’s terrified,” one of the lawyers, Deirdre von Dornum, said. “As you can imagine, he’s a boy who fishes, and now he’s ended up in solitary confinement here.” She added, “He’s having a very difficult time.”
Okay, "a boy who fishes" is an understatement, but we get it; we feel for the kid. But frankly, we're not sure this solitary confinement thing is such a bad idea. Who would want to expose this sweet young man to the kind of creeps they keep in federal detention centers?
Somali Piracy Suspect Pleads Not Guilty [City Room/NYT]