Mission for Seafarers
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"Human tragedy continues", says Christian naval charity after 6 Brits jailed in India

Tue 12 Jan 2016
By Aaron James

A Christian charity has told Premier that a "human tragedy" is continuing after six British men have been told they will remain detained in India.

Mission to Seafarers was speaking after an MP said the decision was a "miscarriage of justice".

It's after six British ex-soldiers working on an anti-piracy mission were jailed in India on weapons charges in 2013.

Ian Lavery, Labour MP for Wansbeck, said he will continue to campaign for constituent Nick Dunn (below) and the other five men who have gone through what he called "years of hell".

Family Handout/PA Wire


The men, who work as anti-piracy support teams in international waters, were arrested when Indian authorities alleged the men were in the country's waters in an armed vessel.

Mission for Seafarers has been supporting the men, who have been held on suspicion of terrorism offences, illegal bunkering (refuelling) and storing guns.

The men deny all charges.

There were hopes that the latest legal hearings in India would see them free to return to the UK, but instead they have been jailed for five years.

Revd Ken Peters, from the charity, told Premier: "Some children haven't seen their father for a third successive Christmas.

"Another a child's been born, the father's not yet seen the baby and it will be a toddle before he does."

"it's been going on for 27 months now they've been in detention - we've been looking at the court documents to see what the grounds are for an appeal."

The men have been held without trial since 18th October 2013.

35 men are being held in total: six Britons, 12 Indians, 14 Estonians and three Ukrainians.

Revd Ken Peters told Premier why he thinks the men have been detained for so long: "There has been some misunderstandings, the men believe that they haven't properly taken into account international maratine law, there may be a different understanding within the domestic Indian statues."

In July 2015 Paul Towers, one of the crew members in India, told Premier: "The families are utterly mentally and physically and financially at breaking point.

"We've seen family members pass away, God bless them, relationships have split up, houses have been repossessed."

Listen to Premier's Hannah Tooley speak to Revd Ken Peters here:

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