30-year-old Israeli sailor Ilya Romanov was arrested earlier this month in Antigua on suspicion of attempted murder. Romanov’s family explained that the sailor was attacked by four men and acted in self-defense. During the struggle, the cup Romanov was holding in his hand shattered and injured one of the attackers. The Israeli Foreign Ministry stated that it is doing all it can in order to help Romanov.

Ilya Romanov

Ilya Romanov Photo Credit: Screenshot from Twitter

30-year-old Israeli sailor Ilya Romanov from Haifa is currently detained in Antigua, Romanov’s family and friends said on Wednesday. According to his family, Romanov faces a serious indictment on Thursday for attempted murder, which could land him a lengthy prison sentence on the Caribbean island.

Romanov’s girlfriend, Masha Shatilova, explained in a Facebook post that her boyfriend is disabled due to an accident that left only his right hand functioning. According to Shatilova, Romanov was walking around the island with a glass of wine in his hand when he was attacked by four men. “One of the men was wounded in the neck by the glass, which most likely shattered when he (Romanov) was trying to defend himself – because he can only defend himself with his functioning hand,” Shatilova wrote.

“The motive behind all of this is most likely political, internal, in light of the upcoming elections – they’re fighting crime without restrictions,” Shatilova continued. “There is a basic injustice of a Third World country here.” Shatilova also said that the Israeli Foreign Ministry has been contacted in order to help Romanov, but no progress has been made.

The Israeli Foreign Ministry issued an official statement concerning the matter. “An Israeli citizen was arrested in Antigua for involvement in a violent incident,” the statement read. “The Consular in Santo Domingo, Silvia Alfassi, is taking care of the incident, spoke with the Israeli and his attorney and is working with authorities in order to ensure that the detainee receives appropriate conditions and legal representation,” the ministry continued, adding that local authorities are waiting for one of the injured assailants to gain consciousness in order to question him. “The Foreign Ministry is in contact with the family and is working to help as much as possible. In this context, we emphasize that the ministry cannot intervene in legal proceedings in another country. The Consular and the Department for Israelis Abroad and the Foreign Affairs Ministry’s Consular Department will continue to follow and accompany the case.”