Vietnam asks Malaysia to treat Vietnamese fishermen humanely hinh anh 1Foreign Ministry spokesperson Le Thi Thu Hang. (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) - Vietnam has asked Malaysia to treat detained Vietnamese fishermen humanely and handle issues relating to Vietnamese fishermen and fishing vessels in line with international law, taking into account that the two countries boast a strategic partnership and are members of ASEAN, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Le Thi Thu Hang said.

The spokesperson made the remarks during a press briefing in Hanoi on August 20, informing the press that the Malaysian law enforcement chased Vietnamese fishing vessels that led to the death of a Vietnamese fisherman, and 18 other fishermen were detained in a recent incident.

The Consular Department under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on August 18 contacted and handed over a diplomatic note to the Embassy of Malaysia in Vietnam to express its concerns over the matter.

Vietnam has asked Malaysian authorities to investigate the case, punish those responsible for the death of the Vietnamese fisherman, and not allow similar acts to happen again, Hang said.

The ministry has instructed the Vietnamese Embassy in Malaysia to work with the Malaysian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and requested Malaysian authorities provide detailed information regarding the incident, and facilitate representatives from the Vietnamese Embassy to pay consular visits to the detained fishermen and take necessary citizen protection measures, she said.

“Vietnamese authorities and the Embassy of Vietnam in Malaysia are maintaining close contact with the Malaysian side to seek details on the case and have urged them to facilitate consular visits,” she reaffirmed.

Also during the meeting, Hang told the press of a case in which three Vietnamese fishing vessels, with 26 fishermen on board, have been detained by Indonesia.

After being notified of the incident, the Embassy of Vietnam in Indonesia immediately contacted local authorities to verify the information and asked them to soon provide formal information.

According to reports from Indonesia, the three fishing boats and fishermen were brought back to a facility of the marine and fisheries resources surveillance agency in Pontianak for further investigation. They face charges of illegal fishing and using banned fishing tools./.