Plea over Bahrain fishermen's arrest
Manama, November 25, 2010
A desperate call has gone out from the family of a Bahraini fisherman for a radical solution following the latest arrests by the Qatari coastguard.
Mansoor Al Sindi, 22, was held by the Qatari coastguards days before Eid Al Adha for allegedly entering the country's territorial waters.
He was held along with Bahrainis Younis Al Onaisi and Zuhair Saleh, who were on-board the small boat.
A Qatari court reportedly yesterday adjourned the men's case to another two weeks, with no details available on the reasons.
Families of the arrested fishermen are calling for the government to intervene and find a solution.
Al Sindi's brother Abdali told our sister newspaper Gulf Daily News (GDN) that the three friends were on a fishing trip when they were arrested.
'I was performing Haj when I got a call informing me that my brother and his friends were detained in Doha,' he said.
'They remanded them in custody for 10 days until the first court hearing.'
They were detained along with other Bahrain-based Asian fishermen, said Abdali.
He said he was worried the men could lose their jobs if they remained in custody longer.
'My brother is a security guard and was preparing to get engaged,' said Abdali.
'If he is held further in jail, he might lose his job and the engagement preparations will have to be postponed.
'This will be really sad for us all as we are looking forward to seeing him getting married.'
Bahrain Coastguard commander Colonel Ala'a-Eddine Seyadi earlier revealed that Qatari authorities have detained 40 Bahrain fishermen - six Bahrainis and 34 Asians - for straying into their territorial waters.
Twenty-one fishing boats have also been confiscated, he added.
Meanwhile, owner of two confiscated dhows, Sayed Baqer Hassan, said his livelihood was at stake.
His first dhow, named Al Mesh'khas, was held last month and his four Indian crew members were arrested.
The second, named Rabawi, was seized on November 13 and another four Indian crew members were remanded in custody in Doha.
The move was a blow to the father-of-two, who is worried he will not be able to pay for his daughter's university fees, which totals to BD6,500 per year.
'The university was very generous in allowing me to pay her fees in instalments due to the situation,' he said.
'But I don't know what will happen now that two dhows have been seized, which are the sole source of my income.'
The dhows were also the livelihoods of the Indian fishermen and Mr Hassan's brother, who is also his partner.
'My brother is supporting his family of five with the income of these dhows and now we don't know how we will be able to pay for their expenses,' he said.
Hassan called on the country's leadership to intervene in finding a final solution to the situation.
'I call on our government to find a solution to this mess,' he said.
'The country can unify its territorial waters with Qatar for fishermen to be able to sail without problems.'
The arrests are the latest by Qatar's coastguard for straying into its waters, where more than 100 Bahraini fishermen have been arrested in the last few months.-TradeArabia News Service