Seaman Guard Ohio
Freed Indian crew members of the Seaman Guard Ohio with Sree Kumar (centre)

Seaman Guard Ohio: ITF praised for role in winning crew release

The ITF has been commended for its work to secure the release of the crew of the Seaman Guard Ohio.

The 35 crew and guards were released from prison on 28 November after the court in Madurai, India decided to lift the sentences of five years’ imprisonment that were handed down in January 2016.

The ITF has provided support for the crew since their arrest in 2013, and funded this appeal on their behalf.

Abdulgani Y Serang, general secretary cum treasurer of the National Union of Seafarers of India, said: “It is with great relief we note about the release of the seafarers and guards of the Seaman Guard Ohio. They were professionals just discharging their professional duties.

“The ITF and its affiliates have been very supportive all along, providing legal, financial and logistic support for the crew. We really appreciate the efforts. This is indeed international solidarity of which we are very proud. Making it possible for them to be free and reunite with their families speaks volumes of the ITF family and its commitment.”

Sree Kumar, ITF inspector in Chennai, has tirelessly helped the crew and their families throughout the process. He commented that he was relieved that justice had prevailed, and highlighted the role of the lawyers, Mr Muthuswamy and Mr T Mohan, who fought the case tooth and nail and without whose help this success would not have been achieved.

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