Interior Minister Warns Qatar: We will Follow Same Procedures to Protect Fishermen

2020-12-17 - 6:23 am

Bahrain Mirror: Interior Minister Rashid bin Abdullah Al Khalifa issued a clear warning to the Qatari authorities and described what Qatar had done with the Bahraini fishermen as "brutal".

This came on Tuesday (December 15, 2020) as he met the fishermen who were targeted by Qatari authorities by risking their safety and livelihoods.

Bahrain revealed earlier this month that it intercepted two Qatari coastguards boats after finishing their duties in Al-Mani Maritime exercise.

The Bahraini Interior Minister said that the meeting was part of the royal directives of the King. He said that the main point of the King's remarks to fishermen was to highlight that "your rights are protected, we will fulfil the duty, by the grace of God you will be compensated."

The minister highlighted part of Bahrain history, about the pearling areas, in which their names are historically linked to Bahrain, including "Niwah Al Rumaihi", "Niwah Al Muawda", "Niwah Al Mimaari", "Hair Bal-Kharb", "Hier Um Al Arshan" and "Hier Bin Zayan". Along with "Fashat Al Deebal" which was sought by Bahraini diving boats to get sweet water.

He said that fishermen had been fishing in those areas for centuries without any violation, as it is well known that those areas are part of Bahrain.

He said that it was a usual practice until Qatar adopted its border expansion move by targeting Bahrainis fishermen. He said in that last ten years, Qatar stopped 650 boats and 2153 with official Bahraini IDs. No one of those targeted was traffickers or vandals, only fishermen running after their livelihoods.

The minister said that they were arrested in a hostile and humiliated manner, which Bahrain doesn't accept such practices against its citizens. "According to Bahraini fishermen, they were stopped in Bahrain's water, and we won't accept this."

He called upon fishermen to ensure that they have communication and detention devices to receive protection.

He highlighted some death and injuries cases among fishermen, including Bahrain fisherman Mohammed Abdulwahab Hayan who was chased and shot by Qatari patrols while fishing. The patrols crashed into his boat, exposing him to fatal injuries. His body was found in the following day, the boat was seized, and other onboard were trailed.  

Another case was of a Bahraini Adel Abdulwahan Al Taweel in 2010, who was also chased by Qatari authorities while fishing. He sustained gunshot injuries, took to Qatar, trailed and his boat seized.

"From today, we will follow the same procedures to protect you," he said, asserting that one of the reasons for boycotting Qatar is its interferences in Bahrain's internal affairs and hostile and aggressive procedures against Bahrain's fishermen. "It isn't accepted because it is against human rights."

The minister said that the sea is an essential element in the life of Bahrainis, as pearling and fishing are inherited occupations in the community from the era of the founder Isa bin Ali.

He expressed thanks and appreciation to heads of fishermen societies for reporting complaints to the Coast Guard to take legal procedures and to protect their rights.


Arabic Version

المصدر: Bahrain Mirror
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