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December 7, 2002

Deaf charity worker released from Indian jail

From: Ananova, UK - 7 Dec 2002

A disabled British charity worker jailed in India for drugs offences has been released from prison.

Deaf Ian Stillman, 52, has been met by his family, who had been in the country to visit him for his birthday last week.

Campaign group Fair Trials Abroad says his release came because of "enormous pressure" from the deaf community and the personal intervention of Foreign Secretary Jack Straw.

Mr Stillman, who is originally from Reading, Berkshire, suffers from diabetes and also has an artificial leg.

He was arrested two years ago in the foothills of the Himalayas for allegedly possessing 20kg of cannabis.

He denied the charges and was sentenced last summer after what campaigners claimed was a "travesty of a trial" where no allowance was made for his disability.

Stephen Jakobi, director of Fair Trials Abroad, said his family was "delighted" at the news and they are expected to arrive back in the UK at the end of next week.

Copyright © 2002 Ananova Ltd