CAIRO: Sixteen Egyptian fishermen held in Tunisia have repeatedly called on the head of the Fishermen Syndicate Ahmed Nassar to ask for intervention by Egypt’s government, Youm7 reported Monday.
Nassar called on the Foreign Ministry and Kafr el-Sheikh Governor Sayed Ibrahim to expedite the release of the fishermen and dispense subsidies to their families, as all the fishermen are originally from Kafr el-Sheikh in the Delta.
The fishermen were arrested Dec. 21 over breaching Tunisian territorial waters and illegal fishing.
The Foreign Ministry said in an earlier statement that it is coordinating with the Tunisian authorities to solve the problem.
Nassar previously told Youm7 that they were heading to Malta Island when they “were forced to lean towards Tunisian waters due to bad weather.”
Dozens of Egyptian fishermen have previously been detained off foreign shores several times, facing charges of trespassing regional waters and illegal fishing in Tunisia, Libya, Sudan and Turkey. Many have been released, while others were sentenced to prison terms over illegal fishing.
Egypt’s Foreign Ministry has constantly called on fishermen to respect the sovereignty of other countries and not to fish in their waters without prior permits.
Most recently, about 17 Egyptian fishermen were sentenced to eight months in Libyan prisons after they accessed Libyan waters without a permit.