Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Stranded fishermen to come home

Stranded fishermen to come home

Stranded fishermen to come home

The 58 formerly enslaved Cambodian fishermen currently stranded on the far-flung Indonesian island of Tual have been issued travel documents, and are expected to begin their journey home next week, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

“IOM Indonesia will be assisting the men with all their travel arrangements in coordination with Indonesian authorities, including conducting the fit for travel health assessments and obtaining their exit permits,” IOM spokesperson Joe Lowry said yesterday. “We anticipate the movement for the 58 men to happen next week.”

He added they will be moved to Jakarta before being flown to Phnom Penh via Malaysia.

The 58 Cambodians were among more than 300 fishermen recently freed by Indonesian authorities on Benjina following an Associated Press investigation into the seafood industry. The fishermen, who mostly came from Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia and Laos, were discovered being held against their will in horrid conditions on the remote island while working endless hours on supposedly Thai trawlers plying Indonesian waters.

According to IOM, 36 Cambodians remain in limbo on Benjina. The Foreign Ministry yesterday assured it was actively working to bring them home, though it could not confirm when they would be returning.

“The [Jakarta] embassy has sent an official to meet and interview them in order to verify them,” spokesman Koy Kuong said.


  • Stock photo agencies cash in on Khmer Rouge tragedy
    Stock-photo companies selling images from S-21 raises ethics concerns

    A woman with short-cropped hair stares directly into the camera, her head cocked slightly to the side. On her lap is a sleeping infant just barely in the frame. The woman was the wife of a Khmer Rouge officer who fell out of favour, and

  • Prime Minister: Take back islands from inactive developers

    The government will “take back” land on roughly 30 islands from private companies that have not made progress on planned developments, Prime Minister Hun Sen said in a speech on Monday that also targeted land-grabbing villagers and idle provincial governors. Speaking at the inauguration of the

  • Land on capital’s riverfront is opened up for investment

    The government has signed off on a proposal to designate more than 9 hectares of land along Phnom Penh’s riverfront as state-private land, opening it up for private investment or long-term leasing. The 9.25-hectare stretch of riverfront from the capital’s Night Market to the

  • Royal Group's Koh Rong luxury hotel officially opens

    The Royal Sands Koh Rong hotel on Monday marked its official launch as the first luxury resort on Cambodia’s most visited island. Prime Minister Hun Sen presided over the inauguration of the hotel, which has been open since December, and features rooms priced at