Sister of Ashington pirate-hunter Nick Dunn calls on PM to help with brother’s fight

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Source: http://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/news/north-east-news/sister-ashington-pirate-hunter-nick-dunn-7732835

Loving sister Lisa Dunn has penned a letter to David Cameron calling on him to help bring her brother home.

Charges filed against Lisa’s brother Nick were quashed in a hearing in India seven weeks ago but the 28-year-old is yet to be granted permission to leave the country.

The pirate-hunter was arrested back in October along with five other British workers for the alleged illegal possession of weapons, while working for AdvanFort who provide protection to other ships from pirate attacks,

Now Lisa has written to the Prime Minister to “express her severe disappointment and concern” and to persuade him to intervene.

In the letter, seen by the Chronicle, the 34-year-old, of Ashington, Northumberland, writes: “Until the second my brother lands back in England, more can and more should be done.

“With all due respect you do not and cannot possibly appreciate nor understand how this extremely difficult and stressful situation has impacted upon our family.

“We really need the help of our Government, ask yourself the question, is it really so difficult for an influential foreign office minister to pick up a phone and speak to an Indian counterpart and resolve this nonsense once and for all?”

Nick, 28, a former squaddie, was held with other workers after what they thought was a routine paperwork check on their security vessel Seaman Guard Ohio.

He was released on bail from Puzhal Prison in Chennai in India in March, but was subject to strict conditions and was told he must remain in Chennai.

The former paratrooper says he suffered months of hell at the hands of the Indian authorities The former paratrooper says he suffered months of hell at the hands of the Indian authorities

And despite a judge quashing the charges in July, Nick is yet to be released from India.

Lisa believes Nick and the other men are not legally required to stay in the country and “administrative paperwork” is the only thing preventing them from leaving.

The family have been forced to contribute financially to Nick’s legal costs, who they say hasn’t been paid since last November. In the letter to Mr Cameron Lisa writes: “We feel this is an absolute violation that cannot possibly constitute any kind of legal process and cannot understand why our Government is allowing this to continue.

“The British Government need to take a stronger stance on this and question the Indian authorities on their actions. The men are and have now been proved innocent and cleared of all charges but are deliberately being prevented from leaving India.”

Nick’s company Advan-Fort has always insisted the men were providing protection to other ships from pirate attacks, but the Indian courts pressed weapons charges.

As part of Lisa’s call on the Government to intervene, she has also written letters to Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond and also to the Minister of State Hugo Swire.

The letter adds: “I request that the British Government exert much more pressure on your Indian counterparts than has been previously applied, to allow all of our innocent family members to return home.”

Former Foreign Secretary William Hague previously pledged to raise the issue of the arrest with the Indian authorities during his latest visit to the Commonwealth country just before the men were released.

To see the online petition, go to www.change.org/p/william-hague-help-free-the-6-british-ex-soldiers-from-indian-prison

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