The head of an Egyptian syndicate of fishermen blamed Egyptian authorities for the continuing delay in the release of detained fishermen in Sudan.
“The main reason behind the arrest of the 101 fishermen is because of political issues between Sudan and Egypt,” Nesim Badr El-Deen, the head of the fishermen’s syndicate in Daqahliya governorate, told Ahram Online on Monday.
Sudanese authorities ordered the detention of the 101 Egyptian fishermen on Monday to a month in jail pending investigations on charges of territorial breaches into Sudanese water and espionage after they were released a day earlier, according to El-Deen.
The 101 fishermen were originally arrested in April 2015, along with seven others who were released earlier, and were detained in the Red Sea city Port Sudan.
According to the Sudanese Tribune newspaper, the Sudanese government ordered an appeal against the court’s decision to drop charges of a territorial breach against the fishermen. The appeal was immediately granted.
The Sudanese court accused the Egyptian fishermen of five different charges according to an Ahram Online reporter in Sudan.
Sessions will take place on Thursday July 30 and Sunday 2 August.
According to El-Deen, Sudanese media previously stated that Sudan will release the fishermen in exchange for Sudanese prisoners held in Egypt.
The head of the fishermen’s syndicate stated that all the fishermen who were arrested had permits to cross into Eritrean waters, though this was disregarded by Sudanese police.
“The families of the detained and I spoke several times with Sameh Shoukry and the answer is always ‘we are following up on the matter,’ and, as usual, nothing happened,” said El-Deen.
He blames the Egyptian authorities for not taking the case seriously.
Earlier on Monday, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry met the families of the fishermen, state news agency MENA reported.
“Egyptian authorities are following the situation closely with the Sudanese authorities in order to ensure their release,” Shoukry added.