Join Date: Mar 2006
Still on bail in India awaiting trial: an update
You may remember back in October 2013, I started this petition asking William Hague to help the 6 British Ex-Soldiers have been Imprisoned in India.
It breaks my heart to say that today, over 2 years later those 6 men still remain in India and The British Government still have not helped them.
In April 2014 they were finally released on Bail, despite bail being granted in March 2014- My partner Billy Irving, is one of these men and, along with the others, has devoted his live to protecting people, working in the Indian Ocean on Anti-Piracy operations. I was there to meet him outside Puzhal Prison Gates on the day he and the other men were released. It was a huge sigh of relief for all the men and their families to finally be out of prison but they still had a long way to go.
Bail conditions meant the men had to attend the police station twice a day to show they were present. They were unable to leave India. They were receiving no wages from their employer and with no visa they were Unable to work. Costs soon mounted up for the men having to pay for accommodation, food, travel, legal fees, yet not be earning. So in July 2014 you can imagine the ilation when all charges were dropped. Everyone celebrated and we all looked forward to the home coming. I returned home to Scotland to discover I was expecting our first child, and for once it seemed like everything would be ok.
This wasn't the case....On August 26th a appeal against the quashing of charges was filed.
The men had asked the FCO and British government for help to get the relevant documents and their belongings back from the Indian Police and to return home but the FCO were less than helpful, and continually said " We cannot intervene in another countries judicial process" Despite the fact all the charges had been quashed and it was stated that they were free to return home.
On the 28th of April...8 Months after the Appeal had been submitted the supreme court finally heard the case.
On the 1st July 2015, the Supreme Court ruled that the case has to be sent back to the original court where the trial took place to be heard in full. They have stipulated that the proceedings must be completed within 6 months.
The FCO have been less than helpful. These men should have been home once charges were quashed but due to the FCO and British governments lack of action they remain there, unable to work, earning no wages from their company, and being separated from family.
All the families involved are extremely distressed, The Indian Prime Minister Modi will be in UK on November 13th 2015. We asked if David cameron will raise this case with him, they replied "it is on the agenda but we cannot guarantee it will be raised"
If the British Government does not step up its actions to have the men returned home, we have no idea how long this process will go on for, and even when they are found innocent by the courts if they will have their documents released immediately to return home.
I now know that only public pressure will make the Government act. We want our men home and need your help to achieve this. Please sign the petition to put pressure on the Government.
4 men have also set up a funding page to help with legal fees and accommodation while being held in India. If you feel you would like to help them, as little as a pound will go a long way