UAE hijacked Qatari fishing boat and crew members: Qatar

UAE hijacked Qatari fishing boat and crew members: Qatar
2 min read
09 March, 2018
Qatar's UN representative said the United Arab Emirates hijacked a Qatari fishing boat and kidnapped eight crew members on board, state news reported.
Qatar accused the UAE of hijacking the boat and kidnapping its crew [File Photo: Getty]
An Emirati boat intercepted and hijacked a Qatari fishing boat in January, Qatar's representative to the United Nations, revealed on Friday.

The UAE vessel kidnapped all eight crew members onboard, including a captain and seven Indian fisherman, ambassador Alia Ahmed Al-Thani told the UN.

"The State of Qatar informed the UN Security Council and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres that the Qatari maritime surveillance system on Friday 19 January monitored an Emirati boat that was removed from a military vessel and entered the area, which intercepted and hijacked a Qatari fishing boat carrying seven fishermen and a captain, all of whom had Indian nationality, forced him out of the country's exclusive economic zone and entered the UAE's exclusive economic zone at gunpoint,” the Qatar News Agency (QNA) reported.

In a letter addressed to Guterres and the UN Security Council President for the month, the delegation said that "the incident is a kidnapping crime, which constitutes a dangerous precedent and a violation of international norms."

"The State of Qatar strongly condemns and deplores such an act of the UAE which is a violation of international law and the relevant international conventions and covenants."

The message also charged the UAE with full responsibility for the safety and security of the Qatari fishing crew, appealing to the international community to pressure Abu Dhabi to abide by and respect international principles and conventions, release crew members and return the fishing boat and any property held.

The alleged incident coincides with a nearly year-long diplomatic row between Qatar and other Gulf states, including Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

Along with Bahrain and Egypt, the blockading countries broke off ties with Qatar in June, accusing it of supporting extremists and being too close to Iran, Riyadh's arch-rival.

After cutting off all ties with Qatar, Saudi Arabia and its allies imposed a land, sea and air blockade of the emirate and issued a list of 13 demands to have it lifted.

The list of demands included shutting down media outlets Al Jazeera and London-based The New Arab, curbing relations with Iran and closing a Turkish military base in the emirate.

Qatar denies the allegations and accuses the bloc of aiming to incite regime change.