The Maritime Union
of India (MUI), which represents merchant navy officers, has initiated a
‘Service to Stranded Seafarers’ project, aimed at collating database of the
Indian seafarers who are currently languishing in jails abroad.
A delegation to meet Union Ministers to facilitate legal help to
A delegation is
also expected to meet the Union Minister for Shipping as well as the Minister
of External Affairs to seek the government’s urgent intervention in
facilitating legal help to such seafarers, the MUI said on Monday.
MUI is affiliated
to London-based International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF), which is a
democratic, affiliate-led federation recognised as the world’s leading
transport authority that connects nearly 700 affiliated trade unions from 150
countries across the globe.
Around 500 Indian seafarers are lodged in foreign jails
Secretary Amar Singh Thakur said, “It is estimated that around 500 Indian
seafarers are lodged in foreign jails currently due to criminal charges, lack
of proper documentation, detention of vessels, and abandonment of ships, among
Only those who are
able to contact their relatives in India manage to get legal support and
assistance through MUI, he said.
“A delegation of
MUI office bearers headed by me will soon meet the Union Shipping Minister of
India and the Minister of External Affairs of India to seek the Government of
India’s urgent intervention in facilitating legal help to Indian seafarers
locked in foreign jails at present due to numerous reasons,” said Thakur
He added that
unfortunately, there is no updated data of the Indian seafarers who are
imprisoned in jails of Indonesia, Iran, Iraq and many other countries. “Many
such prisoners in foreign jails continue to serve their sentences due to lack
of appropriate legal support offered to them.”
Under the ‘Service
to Stranded Seafarers’ project, MUI recently facilitated temporary passports to
two Indian seafarers through cooperation of ITF and Embassy of Tehran in India.
Both these Indian
seafarers who got stranded in 2019 aboard ‘5 Seas Princess’ cargo ship at
Bandar Abbas Port of Iran are expected to reach India next week finally, the
MUI to consult eminent lawyers across the globe for the release of such Indian seafarers
MUI said it has planned to
consult a battery of eminent lawyers across the globe in association with the
Indian Shipping Ministry, Indian embassies, ITF and various maritime unions
across the globe to seek an early release of such Indian seafarers, it said.