Sunday, January 20, 2013
Eight Yemeni fishermen missing, possibly detained by Eritrea
By Baseem Al-Janani
Sources have reported no updates on the condition of eight fishermen who were reported missing over a month ago on their voyage to the Red Sea.
Fathi Al-Hamidi, a brother of two of the missing fishermen, said that his brothers went fishing with six others on a boat named Al-Raida last month and that they had been heading for Al-Sawabai’e Island in the Red Sea.
“A Few days after their departure, we lost contact with them and so informed security officials, who were unable to obtain any clear proof of where were are or what happened to them,” said Al-Hamidi.
The owner of the boat, Hodeida resident Ali Yousuf Sulaiman, said that although he informed security officials in the governorate about the lost boat, they were slow to react to the problem. He was recently informed that the boat was found sunk near the coastal border of Sudan and Eretria, Sulaiman said.
“A number of Eritrean fishermen have told me that the crew had been detained in Eretria by Eritrean security forces, which suggests to me that they are still alive.”
The families of the missing fishermen, who reside in Al-Obadia village, have appealed to President Hadi to reveal what has happened to their relatives, as they, the families, remain unaware of whether their relatives are alive or not.
On an annual basis, Eritrean officials arrest hundreds of Yemeni fishermen – most of whom are from Hodeida – and confiscate their boats and possessions, often violating basic rights.
125 Yemeni fishermen who were released by Eritrean officials were found to be suffering from deteriorating health; the fishermen stated that Eritrean authorities had tortured them in a number of ways. The released fishermen said that hundreds of Yemeni fishermen remained in detention in Eritr