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InterManager up in arms about "inhumane treatment" of jailed Hebei Spirit two

InterManager up in arms about "inhumane treatment" of jailed Hebei Spirit two

Seoul: InterManager is to complain to the Human Rights Commission over allegations that the two jailed officers from the Hebei Spirit are being badly treated in their Korean jail.  Captain Jasprit Chawla (pictured right) and Chief Officer Syam Chetan (pictured left), were found guilty of criminal negligence for the Hebei Spirit oil spill and were fined and sentenced to 1.5 years and eight months imprisonment respectively by a South Korean court this week.

Reports emanating from Korea have indicated that the two Hebei Spirit officers, Indian nationals Capt Jasprit Chawla and First Officer Syam Chetan are being are being held in isolation in separate cells with very little heating and with sub zero temperatures outside. The seafarers are confined in a filthy cell with nothing but a small opening in the floor to serve as a toilet. Their cells lack the basic amenities such as soap or cream and the two officers are prevented from using a telephone.

Reports reaching InterManager also indicate that the two officers are only allowed to meet family members for a maximum of five to seven minutes and they are not given any reading material. Any books or magazines sent to them can take anything up to five days to reach the two officers and will only be given to them if they are deemed unobjectionable.  
"Capt Chawla and First Officer Chetan have been victimised for performing their jobs professionally and have been unfairly incarcerated for something they were not responsible for," said Guy Morel, InterManager general secretary, slamming the actions of the Koreans for inhumane treatment of the two officers. "InterManager, together with the rest of the shipping industry demands that Korea releases them with immediate effect to allow them to return home to their families."  [12/12/08]