Indonesian fishermen abused on Chinese boats and dumped overboard

WION Web Team
Jakarta, Indonesia Published: May 12, 2020, 04:17 PM(IST)

Indonesian crew members on board the Chinese fishing vessel Long Xing 629 Photograph:( Twitter )

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The seamen, aged between 20 and 35, said they were sometimes forced to work for up to two days without rest, subjected to violence and discrimination, and faced hunger and dehydration.

Four Indonesian fishermen who died on while working for Chinese company Dalian Ocean Fishing, in a case that has sparked a police probe and a joint investigation between Jakarta and Beijing.

Though the exact causes of the deaths remain unclear, testimony given by the fishermen to lawyers and advocates for the group in South Korea and Indonesia, as well as information gathered by the US-based Centre For Advanced Defence Studies (C4ADS), reveal the men toiled away in gruelling conditions before they died.

Crew members told lawyers and they were given meagre meals and drank salty distilled seawater during their 13-month trip.

Within 13 months, four of them were dead and three of the bodies had been dumped overboard before the rest of the crew finally disembarked in South Korea last month. Those that survived returned to Indonesia last Friday, where they are still waiting for thousands of dollars in unpaid wages.

The seamen, aged between 20 and 35, said they were sometimes forced to work for up to two days without rest, subjected to violence and discrimination, and faced hunger and dehydration.

China’s foreign ministry said on Monday it was investigating the case, but added some of the allegations were “inconsistent” with information it had gathered, though it did not elaborate.

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