Authorities Demand Release of Two Fishermen Detained in Malaysia

Diana Mariska
The boats of local fishermen in Lhokseumawe, Aceh. (Photo: ANTARA FOTO/Rahmad)
The boats of local fishermen in Lhokseumawe, Aceh. (Photo: ANTARA FOTO/Rahmad) - Riau Islands marine and fisheries office has confirmed that two fishermen from the province were still detained in Malaysia, a week after they were arrested for illegal entry.

Head of the office Tengku Said Arif Fadillah said the two fishers had been detained for over a week by local authorities in Malaysia.

“The two fishers were detained in Tanjung Manis waters in Sarawak, East Malaysia, about a week ago,” Fadillah said on Thursday, September 15, as reported by Antara.

According to him, Riau Islands provincial government had only heard about the arrest of Kasnadi and Johan by Malaysia’s fishery patrol vessel two days ago. It has sent letter to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Indonesian Consulate General in Sarawak to ask for support in the effort to free and repatriate the two citizens.

Fadillah said he is optimistic that the Malaysian government will release both men considering the good bilateral relations between two countries.

According to the office’s Natuna branch, Kasnadi and Johan went to sea using a 3 gross tonnage (GT) fishing boat on September 6. They were not actually from Natuna, but they fished in the waters.

Representative for the fishers’ family, Juliadi, reported that their boat went adrift on September 9 and entered the Tanjung Manis waters in Sarawak. The report was then forwarded to the office at provincial level two days ago.

Juliadi said he’d found out about the arrest from online news and emphasized that Indonesian traditional fishermen lack the knowledge about state borders, and it was possible that the two fishers didn’t even realize that they’d entered Malaysia’s territorial waters.

“Not to mention the high waves during the transition of south wind season to north wind season that caused their boat to oscillate and enter Malaysian waters,” he explained.

He also said that it was unlikely the two fishers deliberately tried to catch fish in the neighboring country’s territory since fishes are abundant in Natuna waters.

Tag # indonesian fishermen # indonesian traditional fishermen # indonesia fisheries industry # indonesian fishermen arrested in malaysia # marine and fisheries

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