Vietnam requests humane treatment, release of fishermen arrested in Malaysia

By Tien Anh   August 25, 2022 | 05:26 am PT
Vietnam requests humane treatment, release of fishermen arrested in Malaysia
Vietnam's fishing boats off the central coast, September 2020. Photo by VnExpress/Nguyen Dong
Vietnam has requested Malaysia to ensure humane treatment of 37 Vietnamese fishermen that it arrested in June and facilitate their return home, the foreign ministry said Thursday.

Foreign ministry spokeswoman Le Thi Thu Hang said at a press meet that fishing vessel QNa 95005 TS, along with its 42 crew members, was intercepted by Malaysian authorities on June 11 for violating its fishing laws. The crew were arrested.

Five fishermen, who were either underage or had underlying health conditions, have had their procedures completed by Malaysian authorities on July 14 so that they can return to Vietnam, she said.

Vietnam has contacted Malaysia for information verification and provided support for the arrested fishermen. It has also requested Malaysia to ensure humane treatment and provide opportunities for the fishermen to return to Vietnam, Hang said.

The Vietnamese Embassy in Malaysia had said June 21 that police in Kudat District of Malaysia’s Sabah state had announced that 42 fishermen on the fishing vessel from central Vietnam's Quang Nam Province were arrested for violating the country’s fishing laws. At the point of their arrest, two crew members were severely wounded and the rest were extremely weak, it was reported.

A document issued by the Quang Nam People’s Committee on June 29 said that border guards’ surveillance system has found the vessel was about nine nautical miles to the southeast of the Commodore Reef of Spratly Islands when it was seized by Malaysian authorities.

The Quang Nam Department of Agriculture and Rural Development has said that from April 25 to June 11, the vessel was operating in areas that Vietnamese citizens can fish legally.

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