Taiwanese brothers still detained in Tanzania


TAIWAN — The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) confirmed that two Taiwanese brothers surnamed Hsu have been detained in Tanzania for over a year, but the ministry said it has closely monitored the situation.

MOFA spokesman James Chang said the older brother was the captain of an Oman registered fishing boat Tawariq 1.

The older brother, along with a 30-plus member crew, was detained by Tanzania’s government on March 8, 2009 for fishing illegally and holding an expired fishing license, Chang said.

The captain’s younger brother, who operated a boat based in Kenya, was also detained when he went to Tanzania to try and rescue his older brother.

Chang said the matter was brought to the MOFA’s attention on Oct. 25, 2009, and since then, the country’s representative offices in South Africa and Oman have been closely watching the situation and providing necessary help.

Chang explained that the ship owner has hired lawyers to oversee the legal process and that the Oman government was also involved in the matter since the boat was registered in the Middle Eastern country.

“We immediately contacted a group of Taiwanese citizens in Tanzania to visit the two brothers as soon as we were notified of their plight. According to our knowledge, the two brothers are in good health,” Chang said.

The MOFA official was unable, however, to offer any approximate timetable for the release of the two men.