A new film was released as part of a campaign to secure the release of the crew of a counter-piracy vessel imprisoned in India for almost four years.
The 35 seafarers and security guards on the Seaman Guard Ohio support vessel, owned by the US firm AdvanFort, were first detained on 12 October 2013, at the port of Tuticorin, accused of possessing illegal firearms.
The charges were initially quashed when the men argued successfully that the weapons were lawfully held for anti-piracy purposes and their paperwork was in order. But the case went to another court and they were sentenced to five years in jail.
Supporters of the ‘Chennai Six’ — the six British security guards on the vessel – released a film aimed at raising awareness of their plight. ‘The Chennai 6 — A Miscarriage of Justice’ details the appalling conditions in which they have been held in Puzhal Central Prison, Chennai, and the ‘devastating’ effect their detention has had on their families.
Lisa Dunn, sister of one of the guards, said: ‘We hope by releasing this video more people will have a greater understanding of this huge injustice that the men are experiencing and the effect it has on their families and in particular their children. We urge everybody to get behind us and use people power to help bring our men home.’
It is unacceptable that personnel who were seeking to keep the seas safe have been treated in this way. We have already raised this case with the prime minister and have just urged the shipping minister to ensure that the UK makes the strongest possible representations to get the men released. Nautilus general secretary, Mark Dickinson