"[Don't] Detain Pirates Because Doing So May Breach Their Human Rights"?

The Times (London) reports (thanks to Overlawyered for the pointer):

The Royal Navy ... has been told by the Foreign Office not to detain pirates because doing so may breach their human rights.

Warships patrolling pirate-infested waters, such as those off Somalia, have been warned that there is also a risk that captured pirates could claim asylum in Britain.

The Foreign Office has advised that pirates sent back to Somalia could have their human rights breached because, under Islamic law, they face beheading for murder or having a hand chopped off for theft.

In 2005 there were almost 40 attacks by pirates and 16 vessels were hijacked and held for ransom. Employing high-tech weaponry, they kill, steal and hold ships’ crews to ransom. This year alone pirates killed three people near the Philippines....

Britain is part of a coalition force that patrols piracy stricken areas and the guidance has troubled navy officers who believe they should have more freedom to intervene....

A Foreign Office spokesman said: “There are issues about human rights and what might happen in these circumstances. The main thing is to ensure any incident is resolved peacefully.” ...

Can this possibly be a correct summary of the Foreign Office directive? It's one thing not to return the pirates to Somalia, but it's quite another to instruct the Navy "not to detain" them. (They may, after all, be tried in places other than Somalia.) Can anyone point me to a more complete summary of the situation, or to the text of the Foreign Office directive? If the story is reasonably accurate, then this is just appalling.

Also, can it really be the case that "[t]he main thing is to ensure any incident is resolved peacefully"? I would think that the main thing should be to minimize harm caused by this incident and the others that are likely to follow. If resolving each incident as peacefully as possible leads to an increase in the number of incidents (some of which will inevitably not be resolved peacefully, and all of which will involve robbery, kidnapping, and other harms even if they don't lead to death or serious injury), and modestly increasing the risk of violence in any particular case will help kill off some pirates, capture others, and deter still more for future cases, then the "resolve[] peacefully" principle may do more harm than good.

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  2. "[Don't] Detain Pirates Because Doing So May Breach Their Human Rights"?