Posted by Itar-Tass on
Russian protesters against detentions in Nigeria
Eleven mothers and wives of the Russian sailors from the Greek-owned tanker African Pride that was arrested in Nigeria went on a hunger strike on Wednesday morning. The mother of sailor Andrei Krasitsky joined the hunger strike.
"We went on a hunger strike in protest against the inactivity of the Russian authorities in the settlement of the conflict between the Greek shipping company Azora service and the Nigerian authorities. Our sons and husbands have been in custody in Lagos for 18 months," she told Itar-Tass. The hunger strike is held in the hall of the sea trade union.
The tanker African Pride that is owned by the Greek company and was flying the Panamanian colours with the crew from Novorossiisk was arrested by the Nigerian authorities on October 8, 2003 on suspicions of the contraband of 11300 tonnes of crude that Nigerian criminal groups have allegedly stolen from the pipeline. The sailors are kept in intolerable conditions, many of them are sick with malaria.
"Under the Nigerian laws the sailors face life imprisonment for oil smuggling, though they are innocent," believes Alexander Ageyev, a member of the executive committee of the Russian trade union of sailors and the coordinator of the International Russian Transport Federation. "Freighters and ship owners should provide for the customs procedure, oil export documents and all the rest," he pointed out.
© 2005 Itar-Tass