Six former soldiers who are jailed in India for 5 years for not carrying the correct gun permits now have the support of Prince Charles and Prince Harry to free them.
The six men were considered a threat to national security when they were working on an anti-piracy vessel in the Indian Ocean.
John and Helen Armstrong wrote to Prince Charles to ask his help in setting the men free, including their 29-year-old son, John who Prince Charles had previously awarded his Afghanistan medals to in 2011 after he had returned from a six-month tour.
The letter sent back to the Armstrongs explained that Prince Charles could not intervene but fully supported the men: “The Prince of Wales was deeply saddened to hear of the distressing situation your son John, and indeed your family, finds itself in.
“The prolonged separation, concern for health and well-being and financial strain as you await the outcome of the judicial process must be a very great burden on you all.
“His Royal Highness is grateful to you for taking the trouble to write to him as you did and he feels so deeply for you. I send you every good wish for a speedy conclusion to this matter so that John may return to his loved ones soon.”
Prince Harry also showed his support when a campaigner for the men reached out to him, his office replied: “Prince Harry has asked me to send you his very best wishes and hopes that there will be a resolution soon.”
All of the men were glad to hear of this support, The Sun spoke to John from his prison cell who said: “I was proud to receive my medals from Prince Charles and I’m touched to know he is thinking of us now in our current plight. We all served the Queen loyally so we are delighted to know the Royal family is supporting us in our hour of need. It also gives us a real boost to know Prince Harry hopes we are home soon. He obviously served himself in the very recent past and is a huge supporter of veterans.”
Although the men have said they were just doing their job, with the correct paper work from the British Government, they were still considered a threat to national security. An appeal will be made next month. A spokesman for the Foreign Office said: “We recognise what a difficult time this is for those involved. Our ministers have taken significant action in this case, raising it at the highest levels in the Indian government, and will continue to do so. Earlier this year the then Foreign Office minister Hugo Swire travelled to India to meet the men personally, as well as meeting their families in Carlisle. Alok Sharma, the new Minister for Asia, also raised it in India in July in his first official visit, days after being appointed. Our staff in India and the UK have also been in regular contact with all six men since their arrest and are continuing to support them and their families, working to make sure their welfare is protected in prison. We cannot interfere with India’s independent legal system, just as other countries cannot interfere with ours, but we will continue efforts to make sure this case is resolved swiftly.”