Acehnese fishermen captured in Myanmar`s waters did not steal fish

Acehnese fishermen captured in Myanmar`s waters did not steal fish

Traders serve buyers of fresh fish at a fish auction location in Ujong Baroh village, West Aceh, on Monday (12/11/2018). ANTARA FOTO/Syifa Yulinnas/kye. (ANTARA FOTO/SYIFA YULINNAS)

Banda Aceh (ANTARA News) - Iskandar Usman Alfarlaky, a legislator, who is also member of the Aceh House of Representatives, stressed that East Aceh fishermen captured in Myanmar were not stealing fish in the country`s waters.

"They were washed away because the ship they were travelling had engine trouble. So they entered the waters of Myanmar, and not to steal fish," Alfarlaky stated in Banda Aceh on Tuesday.

Previously, 16 fishermen, who sailed on KM Bintang Jasa from Kuala Idi, East Aceh, were arrested and detained at the Kawthaung police station, Tanintharyi Province, Myanmar, on Tuesday (Nov 6).

The 16 arrested East Aceh fishermen were Jamaluddin, Nurdin, Samidan, Efendi, Rahmat, Saifuddin, Nazaruddin, Syukri, Darman, Safrizal, Umar, M Aris, Jamaluddin, Sulaiman, M Akbar, and Paiturrahman.

The East Aceh electoral Party politician noted that dozens of fishermen were captured by the Myanmar Navy. They were arrested in Myanmar waters bordering Thailand.

"From the information we received, the fate of the 16 fishermen was uncertain. There must be a permit from the Myanmar Minister of Internal Affairs to meet them," he remarked.

Regarding photos that are circulating, showing a group of people tied up and herded to mention that they were Acehnese fishermen, Alfarlaky urged the Aceh Government to check the credibility of the photo.

"If it is true that those in the photos are Acehnese fishermen, we are very sorry. They are bound and herded, as if they were terrorists. In fact, they were swept away and entered Myanmar waters," he explained.

Therefore, Alfarlaky urged the Aceh Government to try to repatriate the fishermen. Moreover, their families would also enquire about their situation because they had sailed last September.

"They must be rescued and sent back to Aceh immediately. I, along with the Aceh DPR members in the East Aceh constituency, will continue to guard and advocate for their return," Alfarlaky pointed out.

Reporting by M. Haris Setiady Agus

Editing Eliswan Azly