16 Egyptian fishermen released by Libya after 9-month detention
Egyptian fishermen - YOUM7 (Archive)

CAIRO: A group of 16 Egyptian fishermen were released after being detained for nine months by Libyan coast guards over allegedly illegally entering its territorial waters, Ahmed Nassar, Egyptian fishermen syndicate head Ahmed Nassar told Youm7 Wednesday.

The fishermen, all from Egypt’s Delta governorate of Kafr al Sheikh, “were aboard a boat named ‘Abu Hanaa’ and were arrested and detained in a Tripoli police station by Libyan coast guards in July 2015,”said Nassar.

They were released thanks to the diplomatic efforts exerted by the Egyptian Foreign Ministry, he said, adding that they are expected to return to Egypt within a few days.

Dozens of Egyptian fishermen have been arrested by coast guards in Sudan, Libya and Tunisian in similar incidents; many were successfully released and returned home, while others are facing trials.

In Feb., a group of 15 fishermen were released after being detained for eight months in Libya. They were arrested by Islamist Libyan armed group, according to previous statements by Nassar.

In February 2015, Fajr Libya has issued a statement calling on Egyptian workers “to leave the country within 48 hours in order to protect them from any revenge attacks” following the Egyptian air forces’ strikes against Islamic State militant group’ targets.

The Egyptian Foreign Ministry has repeatedly warned fishermen against working in the territorial waters of neighboring countries with armed conflicts and not to pursue any activities in their territorial waters without a prior permission.

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