Vietnam has demanded the release of a group of 12 Vietnamese fishermen taken by an Indonesian patrol ship on April 27.
“Twelve Vietnamese fishermen on vessel BĐ 97916 TS, while operating on Vietnamese waters 5.5 nautical miles north of a 2003 continental shelf boundary line between the two countries, were taken by Indonesian patrol boat No. 381,” said Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokeswoman Lê Thị Thu Hằng.
“The incident happened within an area where Việt Nam and Indonesia are working together on a delimitation line of the exclusive economic zone. The fishermen’s vessel was also violently towed by the Indonesian ship resulting in it being sunk.”
Vietnamese Fisheries Resources Surveillance boat No. 213, which came to the fishermen’s aid, managed to rescue two before it proceeded to ask the Indonesian boat to leave Vietnamese waters.
Vietnam asked for the speedy release of the fishermen, proper care given during their time being held by Indonesia and compensation for the sunken vessel.
Vietnam asked Indonesia to strictly follow the provisions of the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) which both countries are signatories of and to refrain from taking similar action in the future.