A judge in India yesterday acquitted the 35 men onboard the anti-piracy vessel Seaman Guard Ohio of weapons charges.
They were previously convicted in January 2016 and handed down a five-year prison term.
“The families will be overjoyed – but it can take considerable time and support to recover from an ordeal like this. They have missed precious years with their loved ones, including births and deaths of their close family,” commented Stuart Rivers, ceo of seafarers charity, Sailors’ Society.
Ben Bailey, director of advocacy at The Mission for Seafarers, commented: “The case of the Seaman Guard Ohio highlights once again the issue that millions of merchant seafarers often face when carrying out their everyday jobs. The criminalisation of seafarers remains a constant threat to those who are responsible for transporting over 90% of world trade. It’s why The Mission to Seafarers provides a range of services to all ranks, nationalities and beliefs through its extensive global network of chaplains in more than 200 ports.”