Families demand action as seamen spend 1,000 days in detention in India

The families of a crew of 35 British pirate hunters locked up in India – including Bootle ex-soldier Paul Towers – are to lobby parliament to mark the 1,000th day of the mens’ detention.

The crew of the MV Seaman Guard Ohio anti-piracy vessel have been held since October 2013 when they were suspected of illegally smuggling weapons.

They were found guilty by an Indian court at a second trial at the start of the year and sentenced to five years in prison, where the families say they have to endure “the most horrific of conditions”.

The Mission to Seafarers charity, along with the families of those being held in India, will lobby parliament and deliver a petition – with 351,212 signatures – to 10 Downing Street today.

The Rev Canon Ken Peters, of the Mission to Seafarers, will be speaking at the lobby.

He said, “Yet again we are bringing to the attention of all, the fact that men tasked with protecting seafarers from pirate attack are themselves under attack.

“The unwarranted detention of the crew of the MV Seaman Guard Ohio, in India, because of their possession of armaments used to defend against criminal violence, has dragged on for 1,000 days.

“There is still no end in sight for the judicial process which has been subjected to adjournment after adjournment, delay after delay.

“While pirates roam free, the crew and guards are held in prison. This really is the wrong way round. We hope that common sense will prevail, the injustice recognised and the men released to be with their families, at home with loved ones.”



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