Fishermen arrested off Tunisia call for Egyptian diplomatic intervention

The captain of an Egyptian fishing boat seized by Tunisian authorities on 8 August has called on the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to secure his release and that of his boat and crew.

The boat named "Youssef Kilani" was seized off the Tunisian port of Safaqis over a week ago and has been impounded ever since. The 14 crew have been kept in detention.

The captain, Ahmed Abdel Saleh, says he set out from the village of Borg Megheizel in Kafr el-Sheikh Governorate on a fishing trip to Malta, but was forced off course by weather conditions.

Ahmed Nassarm, the Chairman of the Fishing Welfare Association of Borg Megheizel, said the boat’s captain called from Tunisia to report his arrest by Tunisian authorities.

Nassar said that the fishermen are appealing to the Egyptian military council and Ministry of Foreign Affairs to intervene on their behalf, claiming that they did not trespass in Tunisian waters intentionally.

In August 2010, the Tunisian authorities seized an Egyptian fishing boat and its crew after it illegally trespassed into the Tunisian waters, eventually releasing them with a much-reduced fine after Egyptian diplomatic intervention.

Translated from the Arabic Edition

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