Families to mark sailors' 1,000 days detention by handing over petition

Family and friends of detained sailor Nick Dunn are to lobby the Government again as he marks 1,000 days held in India.

Thursday, 7th July 2016, 8:20 am
Updated Thursday, 7th July 2016, 9:22 am
Nick Dunn.

The 30-year-old, from Ashington, is among six British sailors – part of the Seaman Guard Ohio crew – who were jailed earlier this year.

And today (Thursday), Nick’s supporters are heading to London in another bid to get the sentences quashed and the men returned home.

They will lobby Parliament and host a rally before handing in the petition – signed by 351,212 people – at Downing Street.

Lisa Dunn, Nick’s sister, said: “For 1,000 days, Nick and our family have had to try to get through the most immense pain and anguish knowing he and his colleagues are at the centre of a devastating miscarriage of justice.

“To sustain this for one day was excruciating enough, but the suffering we feel 1,000 days on is truly indescribable.

“Never would any of us have ever imagined back in 2013 that we would still be living through this very real nightmare in 2016.

“My brother and his 34 colleagues are currently locked away in a prison after being handed a five-year sentence in January, having to exist in the most horrific of conditions when there is overwhelming evidence proving their innocence.

“This is what I am fighting for and this is what I will continue to fight for until they are all back home safely with their families. I will not give up the fight for justice and their freedom.”

The families of the six British sailors are being supported by The Mission to Seafarers.

The Revd Canon Ken Peters, director of justice and public affairs at The Mission to Seafarers, will be speaking at the Parliamentary 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.

“Whilst 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.

“I wonder if any other professional will take on the task of patrolling the oceans to keep seafarers safe?”