Nine Indian seafarers released after being held captive in Libya

9 Indian sailors are released after months of captivity by Libyan rebel group
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Nine seafarers from India who had been held captive by a local militia in Libya for many months have finally been released, according to sources. The group had reportedly been working on a merchant ship named MT Maya 1 that broke down near the coast of Libya and then was captured by the militia. After their release on Wednesday, they reached Tripoli, where they were received by the Indian ambassador to Tunisia.

As soon as the group contacted the Indian embassy in Tunisia on February 15, the Indian mission took up the issue with the relevant Libyan authorities and requested consular access to ensure the safety of the group and to allow for the quickest possible repatriation. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Indian Mission continued to follow up the matter with the concerned authorities in Libya and kept the Indian family members informed of the developments in the case.

The group was staying at a hotel in Tripoli until all formalities for their exit visa were completed. The merchant ship MT Maya 1 is owned by a Greek major and flies the flag of Cameroon. It sailed from Malta to Tripoli loaded with petroleum products. Out of the nine Indian crew members, five are from Uttar Pradesh and one each from West Bengal, Rajasthan, Gujarat, and Himachal Pradesh.

Although the circumstances that led to the capture of these Indian seafarers are unknown, the case highlights the plight of seafarers who continue to face enormous challenges in their work. The shipping industry is a crucial component of international trade, but seafarers often work under stressful conditions, and many are subjected to abuse and exploitation. This incident underscores the need for stronger international regulations to protect seafarers’ rights and safety, both on board and on land, and to ensure that authorities take swift action in cases of capture and detention.

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