India Irked By EU Resolution On Italian Marines

In defence of secularism
  • India has taken strong exception to the European Parliament’s resolution accusing India of “a serious breach of human rights” in its treatment of two Italian marines
  • Italian marines accused of killing two Indian fishermen off the coast of Kerala in February 2012.
  • Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin said the case was sub judice
  • On January 14, the Supreme Court had granted three months extension to one of the marines, Massimiliano Latorre, who is currently convalescing in Italy after a heart surgery.
  • The other marine, Salvatore Girone, is presently living in the Italian Embassy in New Delhi under special arrangements granted by the court.
  • Mr. Akbaruddin said: Under these circumstances, the European Parliament would have been well advised not to adopt the resolution.
  • On 14.01.2015 members of the European Parliament (MEPs) adopted a resolution calling on India to repatriate the marines to Italy.
  • The EU Foreign Affairs High Representative Federica Mogherini, who made a strong speech on the issue at the EU Parliament in Brussels, also indicated that the lack of a resolution between India and Italy was impacting India-EU ties as well.
  • Federica Mogherini  said:We have to ensure that the principles of international law are complied with
  • With the EU taking a sharp position in favour of Italy’s stand that the marines, as members of the Italian armed forces,  should not be tried in Indian courts, the issue is likely to be intensify .
  • MEPs stressed that restrictions on the marines’ freedom of movement represent “a serious breach of their human rights” and asked for their repatriation.
  • They also backed the position taken by Italy on the 2012 incident and hoped that “jurisdiction will fall to the Italian authorities and/or international arbitration.”
  • The BJP, while in the opposition, had bitterly fought against any special treatment to the marines, with Mr Narendra Modi taking a strong interest in the case as the then Chief Minister of Gujarat.
  • In March 2014, he slammed the UPA government’s decision to allow the marines to return home for a brief furlough.
  • In October 2014, when he was Prime Minister, his government did not oppose Mr. Latorre’s plea to be allowed to go home due to his heart condition.
  • So far, no charge sheet has been filed by the prosecution in the case.
  • UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, who visited India during first week of January 2015, had also expressed concern that the issue had not been resolved by India and Italy as yet.