Nizar questions whether fishermen need to defend themselves

Local fishermen lined at the end of a 'dhoani' during a session of pole and line fishing | Photo: The Maldives Expert

Addu City, Maldives – The Former Parliament Member of Hithadhoo Ali Nizar questions whether it is time for fishermen to keep weapons as a form of self defense from possible piracy and hijackings, after courts released all sixteen individuals who were arrested for hijacking a fishing vessel in Maldives on October 26.

In a tweet Nizar sent out regarding the matter, Nizar said, “if the court turns a blind eye to the mugging and piracy, then the only solution is self defense. Should fishermen have to keep weapons on the boats for self defense?” in which he attached a news article to the tweet, about how several perpetrators were released by the courts and others were not even arrested.

While it was unclear exactly how many people were among the hijackers, a person who spoke to the local media outlet from the vessel during the night of the hijack informed that there were approximately 30 armed people in the group.

“It seemed as though they were really pirates. They threatened the captain and demanded that the vessel be taken to the harbor of L. Gan. They had hijacked the entire vessel. There was no way to call or answer any calls at first. But later on we managed to make a call from a small phone, to the Police Station in Meedhoo, in Addu City. We explained what had happened and asked them to send help” a fisherman who spoke from the vessel said.

On the night of October 26, a fishing vessel named Faskuri was hijacked by a group of men who were armed with sharp weapons. Speaking to local media outlet ‘adduLIVE’, the crew reported that on Monday morning, that a group of intruders came on to the boat carrying knives and swords. After the hijackers demanded the crew members to show them the way to the captain, the hijackers had threatened the captain with a knife and ordered the boat, which was near the Vadinolhi area of Laamu Atoll at the time, to be turned around and to enter the harbor of Gan island of the Laamu atoll.

As it has been six days since the incident took place, the delay in the investigation by the authorities has been spoken throughout the country. The crew members stated that “the delay in the investigation by the authorities is a threat for all the fishermen in Maldives and have called on to investigate this matter as soon as possible and to give the strictest punishment to the hijackers who entered the boat with sharp weapons.”