By Menna Zaki
Saudi authorities released on Monday 61 Egyptian fishermen who were held in the kingdom since Friday for entering its territorial waters on the Red Sea without permits.
The consulate is currently contacting the owners of the two boats to send another crew to lead them, given that Rashad Alloush and his cousin Mohammed Alloush, the captains of both boats, are both still detained in the headquarters of the Frontier Guard in Jazan, Ambassador Adel Al-Alfy, Egypt’s consular general in Jeddah, told state-run Al-Ahram.
Al-Alfy added that the consulate general is doing what it can to ease the sentences imposed on the four defendants who were detained by Saudi authorities for entering their territorial waters without permit, adding to the fact that they infringed illegally on marine wealth, where 2000 kg of fish were spotted inside the boats, in addition their incompliance with the orders of the coastguards to stop.
Al-Alfy also added that the consulate is currently contacting the family of the deceased Mohamed Ibrahim el Zir, to allow the authorization for the shipping of the body to homeland, he also expressed his and the member of the consulate condolences to the family of the deceased.
One of the Egyptian fishing boats did not comply with the orders of Saudi coast guards prompting the guards to fire at the boats resulting in the death of one of the fishermen and wounding another, who was treated.
The island of Farasan in Saudi Arabia – near Jazan where the fishermen were detained – is an area currently rich in a variety of marine life, with Egyptian fishing vessels having been detected in the area several times previously by Saudi authorities.
In most cases the ships return to Egypt after paying a fine imposed by the Saudi authorities, who do not usually resort to the courts.