By Jasmine Venegas
Somali pirates have released 26 hostages after having kept them for nearly five years in captivity.
According to CNN, 29 hostages were taken in March 2012 on a hijacked ship south of the Seychelles. Of the 29, one died during the hijacking and two died from illness while in captivity. The hostages were all men from Cambodia, China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Taiwan, and Vietnam.
The men were taken to the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, where they were released into freedom and were overwhelmed with happiness. One of the hostages, who requested to remain anonymous, stated, “I am so glad that I am now free, it feels good to be treated like a human again.”
Taiwan’s foreign affairs ministry said the men were freed after a ransom was paid by the ship’s owner as well as groups contracted to negotiate with the pirates. According to BBC, Bile Hussein, the pirates’ representative, claimed that the value of that ransom was $1.5 million, but the entire exchange has not been fully disclosed.