Fifteen detained Egyptian fishermen in Tunisia were released on Friday after over a month of detention.
Egypt’s ambassador to Tunisia, Ayman Mesharafa, said the embassy concluded all deportation procedures for the fishermen. They had been detained, along with their boat, in Sfax port, before they returned to Egypt on a flight on the same day, state media reported.
Ahmed Nassar, Head of the Fishermen’s Syndicate in Kafr El-Sheikh governorate, previously told Daily News Egypt that the fishermen were charged with unlicensed fishing inside Tunisian territorial waters.
However, the captain and the mechanic of the boat did not accompany the rest of the fishermen awaiting the release of the boat.
On 10 August, a further 16 fishermen were detained in Libya in a similar incident. Their arrest raised the tally of detained Egyptian fishermen in Libya to 48.
Nassar also called for the release of the 48 fishermen in Libya, who are facing similar charges to those who were released from Tunisia.
The Egyptian Foreign Ministry has repeatedly warned fishermen against working in the territorial waters of neighbouring countries. The ministry has also urged the fishermen to respect the sovereignty of those countries, and not pursue any activities in their waters without obtaining the required authorisations.
The ministry specified countries “that are witnessing internal conflicts”, such as Yemen and Libya, discouraging fishermen from unlicensed fishing in their territorial waters.