NEWS

Indonesian Fishermen To Return Home On Thursday

Two Indonesian fishermen alleged to have been exploited on an Asian owned Fijian-flagged fishing vessel will be repatriated back to Indonesia on Thursday.
26 Jan 2021 09:28
Indonesian Fishermen To Return Home On Thursday
Damayana (left) and Febriyanto.

Two Indonesian fishermen alleged to have been exploited on an Asian owned Fijian-flagged fishing vessel will be repatriated back to Indonesia on Thursday.

A report by the Human Rights at Sea released on January 16 stated the duo, Damayana and Febriyanto, were abandoned in the Suva Port and were not paid their wages.

Indonesian Embassy Counsellor, Dicky Ahmad Rizaldy, said the report was exaggerated and the issue has been resolved.

He said the two men, who live on board the vessel, reached out to the embassy on the first week of January and with the help of Fiji’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Fiji Fishing Industry Association they were able to contact the ship owner.

Upon enquiry, the embassy learnt that they had not been paid nine month’s salary and were not given food.

The next day the embassy stepped in to provide them food, clothing and airtime for communication purpose.

Mr Rizaldy said they spoke to the ship owner and requested that the two men be paid their salary plus compensation.

The request was fulfilled along with their transfer back to Indonesia.

“They are doing the swab test today because they need the results to travel and as far as we are concerned they have received their allowance and can go back,” he said.

The two men had decided to extend their work contracts last year because of COVID-19 and remained in Fiji in the hopes of getting more work.

However, since their ship owner was away overseas the crew have been living on board.

They will be returning to Indonesia on Thursday on the sixth repatriation flight from Fiji.

Mr Rizaldy thanked the Fijian Government for their assistance to the embassy in resolving the matter and urged Indonesian citizens in Fiji to approach the embassy for any help they might need.

Edited by Selita Rabuku 

Feedback: fonua.talei@fijisun.com.fj


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