Ten Indonesian crew members of Chinese boat to be repatriated

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Ten Indonesian crew members who had been stranded in Dalian, Liaoning province, China, will be repatriated to Indonesia on Sunday, a press release of the Indonesian foreign ministry said.

The ten crew members will fly Garuda Indonesia (GA) 891 at 6.30 am Beijing time, and scheduled for arrival in Indonesia at 1.05 pm local time.

The crew had been rescued from their fishing boat "Dayang 16" in Dalian (about half an hour flight from Beijing) to the Indonesian embassy in Beijing, after the embassy convinced the company to allow the ten crew members to be transferred to Beijing.

The Indonesian crew members are Pajar Subhan (Jakarta), Dionisius Doni (West Kalimantan), Ilham Abdullah (Makassar), Robi (Makassar), Ahmad Bahri (Jakarta), Riky Suseno (Lamongan), Arifin Sakri (Bojonegoro), Akbar (Makassar), Cecep Hasim (Jakarta) dan Patroni (Jakarta). They had been given shelter at the Indonesian embassy in Beijing.

The Indonesian ambassador in Beijing Imron Cotan said the crew had been manhandled since setting foot in Dayang 11 in October 2011. The crew left Jakarta for Dalian, for employment as crew members at Chinese boats in international waters in the Pacific.

In their 40 days of travel to the Pacific, they said they had been denied proper accommodation in the winter, and consumption was not as their working contract, and receiving psychological and physical pressures. The Indonesian crew members protested and asked to be returned to Indonesia.

The company returned them to Dalian, while still holding them hostage. The Indonesian crew had been asked to pay 10,.000 RMB (about 14 million rupiah) per person as repatriation cost, exit permits, agent fees and compensation to the company, as the 10 crew members had signed a sea working contract for two years as from September 2011.(*)