(Full disclosure, I agree with your objection and believe piracy is wrong in any case, but seems like we should be consistent with the application of the rules)
Even if an individual did believe that piracy is perfectly acceptable, direct linking still puts the site under risk of moving into the cross-hairs of law enforcement.
Besides, as I mentioned in my comment, direct links to hubs that contain pirated material and direct links containing suites of tools specifically used for pirating such as DRM removal on ebooks and video players, and bypasses for news organizations and scientific publications are also frequently directly linked.
Mentions of key hubs like pirate bay don't count as linking to them IMO though might effectively be so as the mention might clue some to their existence. Discussing the matter completely without mentioning those places/services would not be practical.
Tools for removing DRM have valid uses. Minority uses, sure, but still valid. Whether removing it for your own transcoding & platform shifting purposes, rather than distribution, is morally OK is a complex discussion (I say yes, lawyers will almost certainly say no!), but if you allow that then the valid use list grows.
Bypassing news filters is usually a case of exploiting them giving different responses in different cases to improve, for example, their Google rank. This is against the engines policies. You can of course argue that "two wrongs don't make a right" but then equally one wrong doesn't either! I'm not sure if the scientific publications matter is the same or not, I'll have to submit to your expertise/experience there.