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EDITIONS
 Thursday, 26 December, 2002, 01:57 GMT
'Dad was freed in time for Christmas'
In Stillman, centre, with Lennie in check shirt
Ian Stillman arrives at Heathrow
Lennie Stillman left London in 2001 to fight for his father - the jailed charity worker Ian Stillman - in India. Shortly before Christmas, Ian was freed and the pair returned to the UK.

It's fantastic to have Dad out of prison but the fight's not over yet. He's been freed on condition that he leaves India - his home for 30 years - and now he wants a pardon over his conviction for drug smuggling.

Lennie and Ian Stillman
Lennie and Ian got home in time for Christmas
My mother and sister arrived from India on Sunday and we had a huge family Christmas at my aunt and uncle's home in Kent - the first time we've all been together in years.

It was a far cry from last year, when I had to ask my grandmother to fax me recipes so I could take Dad a Christmas lunch in prison. I made roast chicken - turkey wasn't available - roast vegetables and a Christmas pudding, loaded it onto my bike and took it up to him.

Future on hold

I'm not ready yet to start thinking about what next - we've all decided to give ourselves a month off to recuperate.

REAL TIME REVISITED
The announcement Ian's supporters had been waiting for
Deaf amputee Ian jailed for 10 years in 2000
Lennie quit his job in London to move to India
Ian was released mid-December on condition he returned to the UK
When I left London almost two years ago, I was just getting on my feet working with computers. I'd like to get back into that, combined with part-time activism to raise awareness in India of disabled issues.

The attitudes against the disabled there shocked me. In May a judge refused Dad leave to appeal to the Supreme Court. When his lawyer explained that he wasn't even capable of carrying 20 kg of cannabis, the judge said that it was common knowledge that disabled people are often involved in drug-smuggling. Can you imagine a judge saying that in the UK? He'd be kicked out.

It worries me that there are millions of others in India who have to put up with this. But before I can do anything, I need to get rid of my anger.


This festive season we are getting updates from those who told their stories in our Real Time series. On Friday, we speak to a father who followed the final footsteps of his daughter, who died on her gap year trip to Australia.



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13 Dec 02 | England
13 Dec 02 | England
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