Improved living conditions urged for detained fishermen in Indonesia hinh anh 1Illustrative photo. (Source: VNA)

Jakarta (VNA) – Vietnamese Ambassador to Indonesia Pham Vinh Quang had a virtual working session with leaders of Tanjung Pinang detention centre on December 16 to discuss the situation of Vietnamese fishermen detained here.

Quang thanked officers at the detention centre for their cooperation with the Embassy of Vietnam in Indonesia in recent years and asked them to facilitate the improvement of living conditions for the fishermen.

He proposed the centre to provide the fishermen with more healthy and hygienic meals and space for sporting activities while permitting them to go shopping for groceries once a week to cook Vietnamese dishes.

The diplomat also urged the Indonesian side to give the Vietnamese citizens timely healthcare services and face masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Deputy head of the Tanjung Pinang detention centre Andi Setiawan vowed to improve living conditions of the Vietnamese within the centre’s capacity and in line with Indonesia’s regulations. He also agreed to allow them to do exercise, go shopping for groceries and use kitchen.

Quang later virtually met with the Vietnamese fishermen to get to know more about their situation and update them with the developments of the COVID-19 pandemic and procedures to take them home.

Due to the pandemic, Vietnam and Indonesia have yet to resume commercial flights, causing difficulties to arrange flights repatriating the fishermen, he explained, adding that the arrangement must receive approval from the government periodically.

He further noted that all their documents had been sent to competent authorities for identity verification and they will be granted with passports in accordance with the 2019 Immigration Law. It takes more time than before, he added.

A representative of the fishermen voiced his gratitude towards the embassy’s support and pledged to comply with the centre’s regulations.

All the detained expressed their wish to be helped complete all required legal steps to reunite with their families for the Tet (Lunar New Year) holiday.

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, the Embassy of Vietnam in Indonesia has paid four virtual consular visits to the detained fishermen and repatriated 114 of them in total. More consular visits and meetings with Indonesia officers will be arranged in the coming time to bring the fishermen home./.