Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Eritrean forces detained Yemeni fishermen and boats

The Fishery Cooperative Union, a non-governmental syndicate made up of Yemeni fisherman, said on Sunday that Eritrean forces have now detained over 200 Yemeni fishermen and confiscated over 850 boats since 2006.

One Yemeni fisherman was allegedly shot by Eritrean marine forces, according to the Fishery Wealth Ministry.

Wade’ Ata, the head of San’d Organization—another organization which works with the country’s fisheries—told the Yemen Times that fishermen undergo humiliating treatment once captured.

“They are forced to do hard labor in construction projects,” Ata said. “They are inhumanely treated. They don’t get enough food, water, medicine or sleep.”

“The Eritrean authorities have detained Yemeni fishermen in many camps on different islands, like Fatima and Dahlk islands,” Ata said.

On Saturday, this issue was raised during a session of the Yemeni Parliament.

Yahiya Al-Raei, the head of Parliament, was tasked with speaking with President Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi in order to reach some sort of solution.

Given that Yemen has a 2,500 kilometer shoreline, the fishing industry is important for this country, supporting around 400,000 Yemenis and their families.

Ambassador Mohammed Al-Jaefi, the head of the African Department at the Yemeni Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said the Eritrean government has only detained fisherman who have been fishing outside of national boundaries.  

Abdulla Sunbul, the deputy minister of the Fishery Wealth Ministry, said the ministry formed a committee to address the dire situation of the captured Yemeni fishermen.

The ministry released a statement last Sunday expressing its concern for the inhumane treatment of Yemeni fishermen.

The statement called on the Eritrean government to launch an  investigation into the incidents and release the Yemeni detainees immediately.


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