Billy’s Yvonne writes movingly to supporters
YVONNE MacHugh, the fiancee of Billy Irving, from Connel, one of the Chennai Six [former British servicemen] languishing in an Indian jail, has written an emotional letter to supporters.
In her letter, Yvonne blasts the lack of action to have the men released but takes encouragement from recent developments and says the campaign is gaining momentum and support online.
Yvonne writes: ‘Two years in prison. How did it get to this?
‘35 men went to work and on October 12, 2013, 35 innocent men were arrested while doing their job protecting seafarers. 35 innocent men lost their freedom.
‘I still struggle to believe this has happened and continues to go on.
‘What I struggle most with is coming to terms with the fact one country’s failing judicial system has the power to imprison 35 innocent men from four different countries for a crime they didn’t commit and despite overwhelming evidence and knowledge that these men commuted no crime.
‘Not one of four countries’ most powerful leaders have the guts to stand up for their citizens and demand they are released. 35 families are left without the men they love. 35 men are languishing in a prison in the most filthy conditions.
‘The treatment is barbaric, human rights are being violated. They are surrounded by rapists and murderers and the are a thousand miles from home.
‘Can this really continue for another three years?
‘For four full years our lives have been turned upside down, living day to day not knowing if the men who went to work in 2013 will return.
‘Despite all of this, the friendships, support and love we have had from so many people all over the world, family, friends and strangers, have filled our hearts with love and given us the strength we so desperately need throughout this testing and unbelievable ordeal.
‘It certainly doesn’t get easier the longer this goes on, and every day is harder than the last, but with your help we’ve got stronger and learned how to cope and deal with the battles that are thrown at us.
‘Never underestimate the power your words and actions of support has on everyone involved.