Friday, 21 October 2016 05:22

SNP MP calls on Foreign Office for 'Urgent and immediate action' to bring Billy Irvine home

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SNP MP Kirsten Oswald has called for urgent and immediate action from the Foreign Office in the case of Billy Irving and colleagues  - the so called ‘Chennai Six’.

Kirsten Oswald’s constituent Billy Irving was jailed for five years in 2013, with five other UK nationals in India, on firearms charges on the anti-piracy ship MV Seaman Guard Ohio.
This week a glitch in the Indian courts system meant that their case has once again been dealt a blow – as a key individual due to appear at a court hearing failed to turn up
and the case has gone ‘back to square one’ causing frustration and potentially even more delay.
All of the men - who are ex service personnel - have consistently protested their innocence and have presented evidence backing up their claims.
Kirsten Oswald MP commented:
‘’I have now had six meetings with Foreign Office Ministers to press them to secure Billy Irving’s release but unfortunately, it feels a little bit like Groundhog Day, with the same discussions happening again and again, with a disappointing lack of any action.
‘’Billy and his shipmates have been stuck in India for three years. These men are innocent of any crime. The UK Government must step up efforts to secure their release.
‘’I am concerned about Billy’s state of health and wellbeing. This terrible limbo he and his colleagues are in must be taking its toll.
‘’Boris Johnson must recognise the need for urgent and immediate action without further delay.
‘’For the past fifteen months, I have heard soothing words from Foreign Office Ministers. That's simply not good enough. Now we need action to a bring Billy home.’’

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