Families of missing fishermen call on authorities to resume search   
Egyptian fishermen - YOUM7 (Archive)
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CAIRO: The whereabouts of 12 Egyptian fishermen has been unknown for a week after the wind reportedly drifted their boat to Eritrean Islands, according to Youm7.

Families of the fishermen have appealed to authorities to resume the search for their sons after Egyptian crafts combed Sudanese Islands, failing to find traces of the boat. The families say there is evidence that their relatives are still alive, according to statements by Gamal Ali, brother of one of the missing fishermen to Youm7.

Ali said that a Sudanese official told him the fishermen are close to regional waters of Eritrea after the wind pushed the boat.

The boat Zenat el-Bahrayn was hit by high wind on Thursday Jan. 28 while in Sudanese waters, he added.

In his appeal, Ali requested that the Egyptian embassy in Sudan and the Foreign Ministry to consider the resumption of search efforts after they were halted “although no signs proved their drowning.”

Several Egyptian fishermen have been arrested lately fishing in territorial waters of neighboring countries, including Sudan, Libya, Tunisia and Turkey.

On Jan. 8, some 13 Egyptian fishermen returned home after they were held by Tunisian authorities for violating Tunisia’s territorial waters.

The release of many Egyptian fishermen held by foreign countries comes in the framework of coordination between Egypt’s government and its counterparts; however, in some cases, fishermen face jail time.

In December, a total of 17 Egyptian fishermen were sentenced to eight months in prison in Libya over the same accusations.

The Fishermen Syndicate has justified some incidents on grounds of “malfunctioning navigational devices.”

Egypt’s Foreign Ministry has repeatedly called on fishermen to respect the sovereignty of other countries and not to fish in their waters without prior permits.

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