We have checked the claim. In fact, the letter has never been sent
Jakarta (ANTARA) - Indonesian sailor Herdianto, who died aboard Chinese fishing vessel Lu Qing Yuan Yu 623 on Jan 16, 2020, and buried in the Somalian Sea on Jan 23, might have endured modern slavery practices and violence.

The Indonesian Foreign Ministry's director for the Protection of Citizens and Legal Entities Overseas, Judha Nugraha, stated that the Indonesian Foreign Ministry had coordinated with the Indonesian Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya, in connection with Herdianto’s case.

Nugraha spoke of Somalia being part of the accredited areas of the Indonesian Embassy in Nairobi to request for the local authorities' information on the Indonesian citizen's burial at sea, he notified journalists in Jakarta on Wednesday.

However, information was yet unavailable on the Indonesian seafarer's burial in the Somalian Sea since the Somalian authorities were unaware of it, he stated, adding that explanations pertaining to the cause of Herdianto's death were not available.

The Indonesian Embassy in Beijing has sent a diplomatic notification to China's Foreign Ministry seeking an inquiry into Herdianto's death, his burial at sea, and causative factors behind the burial at sea, and the current condition of the rest of the Indonesian crew.

Nugraha further expounded that the Indonesian Foreign Ministry had held a recent meeting with those from related ministries and government agencies, Herdianto's heirs, as well as representatives of PT Mandiri Tunggal Bahari (MTB).

PT MTB had functioned as an agency sending Herdianto to work for the Chinese fishing boat.

At the meeting, PT MTB claimed that it had sent a letter notifying of Herdianto's death, dated Jan 23, 2020, to related ministries and agencies in Indonesia, including the Foreign Affairs Ministry, workforce ministry, and the Agency for the Protection of Indonesian Migrant Workers (BP2MI).

"We have checked the claim. In fact, the letter has never been sent," he remarked.

Herdianto's death came to light after a video footage of his burial at sea was circulated on Facebook this month. As a result, it caught the Indonesian government and people's attention.

The video footage laid bare the bitter reality that Herdianto was compelled to work despite his sickness and the paralyzed condition of his legs. He finally passed away.

Herdianto's burial at sea has again drawn the Indonesian public's attention since three Indonesian seafarers working for two Chinese fishing boats had also died recently and their bodies were buried in the Pacific Ocean.

The dismal news on the deaths of three Indonesian sailors in December 2019 and March 2020 and their burials at sea recently went viral in South Korea after MBC, a local TV station, broadcast it in its news bulletin.

The news on the deaths of the Indonesians working aboard Long Xin 629 and Long Xin 604 while the fishing boats were sailing in the Pacific Ocean has shocked the Indonesian public, as it occurred when Indonesians were engaged in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

Another sailor died while being hospitalized in the South Korean port city of Busan. This case is still being investigated by the Indonesian Police and Chinese authorities.
Related news: Again, videos on burial at sea of Indonesian on Chinese boat go viral

Related news: Indonesia demands China's accountability for boat abuse



Translator: Yashinta DP, Rahmad Nasution
Editor: Fardah Assegaf
Copyright © ANTARA 2020