Hundreds take to London streets to protest over Nick Dunn’s imprisonment

Lisa Dunn, Nick's sister (centre), with fellow relatives and supporters of the Chennai 6.
Lisa Dunn, Nick's sister (centre), with fellow relatives and supporters of the Chennai 6.

Hundreds of people staged a peaceful protest in a bid to help get detained sailor Nick Dunn released from his Indian hell.

Relatives of the Chennai 6 were joined by friends, former servicemen and members of the public last Friday to the protest outside the Indian High Commission in London.

Nick, from Ashington, is among six British ex-servicemen who have been held in India since October 2013 while working on the anti-piracy vessel the MV Seaman Guard Ohio.

Despite initial charges being dropped, an appeal was launched by the Indian authorities and they were jailed for five years in January 2016.

Families of the six have launched an appeal for them to be released, saying all the necessary paperwork was there after weapons were found on the ship.

Nick’s sister Lisa said: “It was a phenomenal day.

“We’re still waiting for the judge to deliver his verdict. Friday will have given all the men a boost, and it came at the right time for us to see there is support for them. We need to be strong for them.

“The whole point of the day was to raise awareness of the Chennai 6 and let the Indian Embassy see that we will not stop this, and I will not stop this until Nick is back home.

“We had hoped the verdict would have been delivered at the beginning of June when the courts re-opened, but we are still waiting.”

A judge has been considering an appeal for more than 200 days.

Their UK-based lawyer Stephen Askins said: “They were armed guards backed by the international community as a successful answer to Somali piracy. Weapons go in and out of India on commercial ships all the time to protect the crews from hijacking.”

“It has never been clear why the authorities took exception to these men and the courts have shown a complete misunderstanding of international law.

“The Chennai 6 are at the wrong end of poor judgement and a miscarriage of justice.

“The Indians have made their point – it is now time for the men to come home.”