Thursday, April 19, 2012

Twenty-five fishermen held in Palau return to China

Twenty-five Chinese fishermen detained in Palau since March 31 have returned to China in an aircraft of the airline Hainan.

The fishermen, all from the island province of Hainan (South), arrived Wednesday afternoon at 17:00 to Meilan International Airport in Haikou, the provincial capital, with the body of their colleague Lu Yong.

Lu Yong, 32, was killed by the marine police of Palau on March 31 during a confrontation caused by the accusations made by Palau under which Chinese fishermen were fishing illegally.

The Government of Palau has estimated that the Chinese fishermen were illegally entered their inland waters for fishing and the supreme court has sentenced each of the fishermen fined one thousand dollars.

However, family members of fishermen urged Palau to compensate for what the president of Palau, Johnson Toribiong, called a murder "accidental".

Questions were raised about the death of Mr. Lu because officers of the navy of Palau opened fire on a Chinese vessel disarmed, a violation of international maritime law.

Liu Weimin, spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry said Wednesday that China would remain in communication with Palau to properly manage the consequences of this incident.