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International solidarity grows for detained MV SEAMAN GUARD OHIO crew

October 23, 2013

As desperation deepens over the liberty of, and justice for, MV OHIO crew and guards—including the attempted suicide of the vessel’s chief engineer last weekend, this after being jailed on charges already proven to be factually inaccurate—outrage is beginning to grow around the world.

In recent days, hundreds of people—some fellow seafarers, many others completely unrelated to the maritime industry but moved by the plight of MV OHIO’s multinational professionals—have signed a petition to the Indian government demanding the immediate release of the crew members, who include Indian, British, Estonian and Ukrainian nationals, among others.


Offers to help continue to pour in at AdvanFort International headquarters as news reports—the latest an exposé in the respected maritime journal gCaptain of the Indian Coast Guard's wildly inaccurate claimshave called into question the very legitimacy of Indian government promises of respect for human rights generally, and that of seafarers in particular.


“What can I as an American citizen do to help the release of your ship?” ask one missive, reflecting the general frustration caused by these news reports. “I have written both my Senators and the Indian (consulate) here in Atlanta.


“Hope that helps. Prayers and best wishes for your crew.”


Such solidarity comes as lawyers for AdvanFort in New Dehli are pressing to have the court there—itself the frequent target of complaints about unbelievably long periods of inaction—move quickly and, based on evidence of Indian Coast Guard equivocations, to immediately release the MV OHIO team.


"All of the firearms and ammunition are used to safeguard commercial ships from piracy in high-risk areas," Watson told Monday. "These guys are decorated military veterans. They're brave, honest men who spend months away from their families to protect ships from pirates and this is how they’re being treated."


Reflecting the support been offered to the MV personnel, their families and the international private counter-piracy community in general, Fox News added:


“Advanfort has been at the forefront of the battle to stop piracy, and pushed to prove the legality of using private security companies to protect shipping. The seas from the east coast of Africa to India and beyond have become increasingly congested with vessels involved in fighting who target ships moving along this important trade route.”


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