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Parliamentary questions
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14 November 2014
Question for written answer P-009263-14
to the Commission (Vice-President/High Representative)
Rule 130
Urmas Paet (ALDE) , Tunne Kelam (PPE) , Yana Toom (ALDE) , Kaja Kallas (ALDE) , Indrek Tarand (Verts/ALE)

 Subject:  VP/HR — Situation of EU citizens in India
 Answer in writing 

We draw your attention to the urgent need to help the 35 crew members, 20 of whom are EU citizens (14 Estonians and six British nationals), of the anti-piracy patrolling vessel MV Seaman Guard Ohio, who were detained by the Indian authorities on 18 October 2013.

On 10 July 2014, the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court exonerated the crew of all accusations. However, their passports and belongings remain in the possession of the Indian police. The crew have protested the withholding of their documents as a violation of their fundamental rights. They have been denied the possibility of work, income and joining their families for almost a year.

Moreover, the health of many of the men has deteriorated significantly during their detainment in India. It is impossible for them to receive proper medical assistance.

Could the VP/HR take action at the highest level to see to the release and safe return of these EU citizens?

What options are available to you, Mrs Mogherini, to assist our citizens?

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