PortandTerminal.com, May 19, 2020
JAKARTA, INDONESIA – Chilling videos have surfaced on social media that appear to show an Indonesian fisherman being buried at sea after dying from abuse and torture onboard his vessel. The person who shared the disturbing videos says that the Indonesian fishermen are held and worked as “slaves” onboard the Chinese fishing vessel that they are kept upon.
In the series of three videos uploaded to Facebook, an Indonesian seafarer named Suwarno Canö Swe accused the operators of a Chinese fishing vessel of abusing their Indonesian deckhands, resulting in the injury, death and filmed burial at sea of one victim of Chinese abuse.
According to Suwarno, the Indonesian crew of the vessel Luqing Yuan Yu 623 suffered abuse at the hands of the vessel’s operators, including kicking and hitting with glass bottles. He asserted that the crew were effectively held in a condition of slavery and that one was beaten until he was paralyzed. One of the three videos posted on social media shows crew members trying to help a fisherman to his feet.
The second of the three videos posted to social media appears to show crew members sewing the body of a man into a makeshift burial shroud. The final of the three videos shows them dumping a body overboard into the sea.
A pattern of abuse and torture by the Chinese
Last week the South China Morning Post (SCMP) reported about a different Chinese fishing vessel on which Indonesian fishermen onboard another vessel had been mistreated, beaten and verbally abused.
Four of the crew members working on the Chinese ship according to the SCMP account were dead within 13 months. Three of the four bodies were dumped overboard before the rest of the crew finally disembarked in South Korea last month. Those that survived returned to Indonesia last Friday according to SCMP, where they are still waiting for thousands of dollars in unpaid wages.
Though the exact causes of the deaths of the fishermen remain unclear, testimony was given by their crewmates to lawyers and advocates for the group in South Korea and Indonesia, as well as information gathered by the US-based Centre For Advanced Defence Studies (C4ADS), reveal the men worked in gruelling, slavery-like conditions before they died.
Can this story get any more horrific?
Can this story get more horrific? Yes, when the Chinese are involved it certainly can. Photographs from the Chinese fishing vessel show that the Long Xing 629 was finning sharks – a disgusting, wasteful and inhumane practice that is responsible for killing 100 million sharks around the world each year. All in the name of shark-fin soup and so-called Chinese traditional medicine.
Tens of thousands of migrant workers from Indonesia and other parts of Southeast Asia are recruited through manning agencies to work on Chinese, Taiwanese, Thai and South Korean fishing vessels each year, where anti-trafficking advocates say they run the risk of exploitation due to the lack of monitoring on the high seas.
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