Fifteen Egyptian fishermen were released Monday by Libyan authorities after four months in detention in Benghazi, the Egyptian Foreign Ministry said in an official statement.
“The fishermen were arrested on charges of breaching regional Libyan waters,” Deputy Foreign Minister for consular affairs Hisham El-Naqeeb said in a press statement.
The fishermen will be transported to the Salloum border crossing in preparation for their return to Egypt. More Egyptian fishermen have been detained recently for similar charges in neighbouring countries.
In October, a total of 24 Egyptian fishermen were released from Sudan and Tunisia after being detained for illegally entering those countries’ borders.
Fifteen Egyptian fishermen were released by Tunisian authorities late August after being charged with unlicensed fishing in Tunisian territorial waters. Sudan also released 101 Egyptian fishermen in August, who were detained near Port Sudan for illegally trespassing on their way to Eritrean waters.
The Egyptian Foreign Ministry has repeatedly warned fishermen against working in territorial waters of neighbouring countries.
The ministry also urged the fishermen to respect the sovereignty of those countries and not to pursue any activities in foreign waters without obtaining the required authorisation.
The ministry specified countries “that are witnessing internal conflicts” such as Yemen and Libya, discouraging fishermen from unlicensed fishing in their territorial waters.