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Home English UN human rights commissioner 'worried' about marines

UN human rights commissioner 'worried' about marines


Geneva, March 3 - The United Nations High
Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay is "worried" about the
case of two Italian marines who have been held in India for over
two years, as yet without charge, for allegedly killing two
Indian fishermen during an anti-piracy mission in 2012,
spokesman Rupert Corville said Monday.
Italy is appealing to the UN to intervene in a case that it
says should not be handled in India, as the incident took place
outside Indian territorial waters.
Rome also says that, regardless of the jurisdiction issue,
marines Massimiliano Girone and Salvatore Latorre should be
allowed to return home and, if necessary, face justice in Italy,
as they are servicemen who were on a mission for the State.
Corville said Pillay was "worried about the respect of
human rights" given the length of time the pair have been kept
in India, after the commissioner met Italian Foreign Ministry
Undersecretary Benedetto Della Vedova in Geneva.
Latorre and Girone are accused of killing fishermen
Valentine (aka Gelastine) and Ajesh Binki after allegedly
opening fire on their fishing trawler while guarding the
privately owned Italian-flagged oil-tanker MT Enrica Lexie off
the coast of Kerala in February 2012.
The two marines have been living and working at the
Italian embassy in India pending charges.
The case has led to a major diplomatic row between the two
countries and rallying of the European Union in Italy's support.
Rome has protested over a long series of delays, the
latest when the Indian supreme court last month adjourned
hearings for two weeks after prosecutors dropped a tough
anti-piracy and anti-terrorism law that could have mandated the
death penalty.
Although the anti-terrorism law has been dropped the case,
it is currently still in the hands of India's anti-terrorism
police pending a ruling.
Indian prosecutors say the pair might face up to 10 years
in jail.
Italian media have speculated that international support
for Italy could wane now India has dropped the anti-terror law -
which had serious implications for the global anti-piracy fight.

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