Indonesia harbors hopes of a transparent investigation by China’s authorities in cases of alleged violence and human trafficking experienced by Indonesian crew members on Chinese-flagged fishing boats.
The cases involving dozens of Indonesian crew members (ABK WNI) are under investigation by the Indonesian Police’s Criminal Investigation Department (Bareskrim) in collaboration with the Chinese authorities.
“Indonesia is upbeat about a fair and transparent resolution to investigation into cases by the Chinese authorities,” Foreign Minister Marsudi stated during an online press conference from the Presidential Palace here on Thursday.
The first case pertained to a video of a sea burial of an Indonesian seafarer’s remains on a China-flagged fishing vessel.
Later, news came to light of 46 Indonesian crew members enduring violence and ill-treatment while working aboard four Chinese ships: Long Xing 629, Long Xing 605, Long Xing 606, and Tian Yu 8.
Four Indonesian crew members too had died. Three of them had died on the boats, and their bodies were buried at sea, while another crew member had died of illness in South Korea.
Most of the surviving crew members were repatriated to Indonesia, while two Indonesian crew members of the Tian Yu 8 boat were detained in South Korea, pending completion of the immigration process, and then returned to Indonesia on June 9.
“Both crew members had undergone valid PCR tests and secured health permits from the Soekarno-Hatta Airport,” Foreign Minister Marsudi stated.
In the meantime, two Indonesian crew members of a China-flagged fishing boat Fu Lu Qing Yuan Yu 901 jumped off it into the Malacca Strait waters after entering Indonesia’s territorial waters. They were later rescued by the local fishermen.
“While working aboard the boat, they had experienced violence and had little rest and food. Hence, they could not endure it any longer,” Senior Commissioner G. R. Gultom, director of the Riau Islands Province water patrol police, stated on June 6, 2020.