ITF asks for immediate release of detained seafarer

The International Transport Federation (ITF) has strongly requested the Sri Lankan government to release Ukrainian seafarer Captain Gennadiy Gavrylov “immediately”.

Captain Gavrylov has been detained in Sri Lanka since his arrest on June 23rd 2016 in connection with a police investigation relating to Sri Lankan-flagged offshore tug/ supply ship Avant Garde (IMO 8107036). 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 an alleged 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.

 “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.”

1982-built, Sri Lanka-flagged, 1,732 gt Avant Garde is owned by Sri Lanka Shipping Co Ltd of Colombo, Sri Lanka. It is managed by Lanka Maritime Services Ltd of Colombo, Sri Lanka.