Billy’s Yvonne writes mov­ingly to sup­port­ers

The Oban Times - - News -

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.

‘Thank you.’

Yvonne MacHugh.

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