The Jakarta Post
The Foreign Ministry said Sunday it would follow closely the case of an Indonesian crewman who allegedly died aboard a Chinese fishing vessel and was buried in waters near Somalia.
The case emerged after a video purportedly showing a group of sailors on a Chinese fishing ship dump the body of an Indonesian crewman in the water was widely shared on social media.
The video was uploaded on Facebook on Thursday by a user named Suwarno Cano Swe. The post said the body was that of an Indonesian crewman on Chinese fishing boat Luqing Yuan Yu 623 and that it was buried at sea near Somalia.
Tribunnews.com reported that three clips, each 29 seconds long, purportedly show a crewman of the ship experiencing torture that eventually took his life. It was also alleged that the deceased had been a victim of slavery.
In a press statement on Sunday, the Foreign Ministry said it was following the issue closely based on the preliminary information that had been making rounds on the internet.
“In order to get a confirmation regarding the case, the ministry has contacted various parties, including the Indonesian sailors’ association and the manning agency as well as the Facebook user,” the statement read.
Foreign Minister Retno LP Marsudi has instructed the Indonesian envoys based in Beijing and Nairobi to obtain more detailed information from the relevant authorities.
The case is not the first report of alleged exploitation faced by Indonesian sailors aboard Chinese fishing vessels.
Earlier this month, the public was shocked by the death of four Indonesian sailors aboard another Chinese fishing ship. The crewmen had allegedly been subject to exploitation and had died after enduring poor working conditions.
The government has launched an investigation and has named three suspects so far – all of which are Indonesian manning agencies -- while also working closely with the Chinese authorities to shed light on the issue.