Thailand works to free fishermen

Bangkok, Sep 7 (IANS) A Thai delegation is interacting with the Indonesian government to free Thai fishermen detained for illegally entering the country’s waters, a media report said on Monday.

Hundreds of fishermen were arrested last year for violating local laws on fishing, after Jakarta cancelled a concession for foreign fishing boats, the Bangkok Post reported.

Around 1,400 have been repatriated following Bangkok’s intervention, but many are still languishing in prison. It is unclear how many Thai nationals are currently in Indonesian prisons for illegal fishing activities.

During the delegation’s visit, Indonesia repatriated 39 Thai fishermen on Aug 24, while another 19 were sent home on Aug 27. An official said a total of 1,435 fishermen, including the recently repatriated groups, have returned home with the help of the Thai authorities.

Many detained fishermen are victims of human trafficking.

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