ITF Calls for Release of Ukrainian Seafarer

Avant Garde
Avant Garde

Published Jul 9, 2019 8:44 PM by The Maritime Executive

The ITF is calling on the Sri Lankan government to immediately release Ukrainian seafarer Captain Gennadiy Gavrylov.

Gavrylov has been prevented from leaving Sri Lanka since his arrest on June 23, 2016 in connection with the police investigation relating to the Sri Lankan flagged vessel Avant Garde. The vessel was engaged in maritime security and piracy prevention and had firearms and ammunition stores on board.

In October 2015, the vessel was awaiting clearance to enter port anchored outside Sri Lanka waters on the orders of the company, when it was seized by Sri Lankan authorities and forced to enter Sri Lankan waters. Captain Gavrylov was subsequently arrested in relation to the illegal importation of arms.

“For over three years, Gennadiy Gavrylov has been stranded in Sri Lanka, desperate to go home, while Sri Lankan authorities refuse to grant him permission to leave the country,” said ITF general secretary Stephen Cotton. “He is a victim of criminalization, and his continued detention is nothing short of a severe breach of his human rights.

“No seafarer, no family, should have to go through the experience that Gennadiy is going through. Over the past three years of detention, Captain Gavylov has been restricted from contacting his family, prevented from leaving Sri Lanka and prevented from earning a living.

“His health is suffering, he desperately needs life-saving heart surgery, and his family is left languishing without his wage to support them,” said Cotton.

International law is clear on the rights of individuals who are subject to detention by state authorities, if any person is arrested or detained on a criminal charge, they should be permitted to stand trial or be released within a reasonable time, he said.

“Taking into account the circumstances surround Captain Gavrylov’s arrest, and taking into consideration his current ill health and the long time he has already spent in detention without charge, we implore the Sri Lankan government to intervene and allow Captain Gavrylov to go home.”