Ship crew to stand trial in India, a year after charges were dropped

The crew of the Seaman Guard Ohio are to stand trial in India, despite the High Court dropping all charges against them almost a year ago.

While details remain sparse, members of the crew said the Indian Supreme Court believe the men have a case to answer.

The crew of 25 privately contracted armed security personnel and 10 seafarers are accused of bringing weapons into Indian territory without proper paperwork in October 2013.

The latest development comes as the anniversary nears of the High Court quashing charges against the crew.

After that ruling on 10 July 2014 at the Madras High Court, the men were released from prison. Their return home was blocked however, as police in Tamil Nadu kept hold of the crews’ passports ahead of an appeal.

The men face the possibility of being tried by a legal system that some believe has repeatedly failed to uphold their rights, both under international human rights legislation and the Indian constitution.

Details of those infringements were released in a document by Human Rights at Sea in March this year. The crew currently awaits documentation from the Supreme Court to find out the full details of the latest development, as their detention stretches past 620 days.

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