Hundreds freed from slave island in Indonesia

This video from Indonesia says about itself:

Hundreds of fishermen rescued from slavery in Indonesia

3 April 2015

Hundreds of foreign fishermen have been rescued from an isolated island in Indonesia, where they’ve been living as slaves. They are part of a group of about four thousand people trafficked from Myanmar and other countries. Al Jazeera’s Step Vaessen reports from Benjina, one of the islands where the fishermen were kept.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Indonesia: Fishermen rush to escape slave island

Saturday 4th March 2015

HUNDREDS of foreign fishermen jumped at the chance to be rescued yesterday from an isolated Indonesian island where slavery is rife.

Indonesian officials investigating abuses had offered to take them away, out of concern for the men’s safety.

The crewmen, from countries including Myanmar and Cambodia, heard of the chance of rescue as a downpour started and sprinted back to their boats, jumping over rails and through windows in the rush to be rescued.

The authorities’ small boat went from trawler to trawler picking up men who wanted to go and was soon loaded down.

Indonesian Marine Resources and Fisheries Surveillance director general Asep Burhundun initially told 20 men from Myanmar that he would remove them from Benjina village to neighboring Tual island for their safety following interviews with officials.

But as news spread that men were being helped to leave, dozens of others started filing in.

When Mr Burhundun was asked if others hiding in the jungle could come as well, he said: “They can all come.

“We don’t want to leave a single person behind.”

The delegation began assessing the situation on the island this week, following stories of abuse in the international press.

The men described their abuse, which included being kicked, whipped with stingray tails and given electric shocks.

Some said they fell ill and were not given medicine. Others said they had been promised jobs in Thailand but instead were taken to Indonesia, where they were made to work long hours with little or no pay.

The (slave driving) employers were indeed from Thailand, but the slave labour was in Indonesia.

Maybe these cruel Thai bosses were ‘inspired’ to commit their crimes by the post coup d’état dictatorship in their country.

This video says about itself:

Fish Caught by Slaves End Up in US Supermarkets

25 March 2015

In a year-long investigation, the Associated Press has found that young Burmese men are being brought as slaves to a small Indonesian town called Benjina, where they are forced to sometimes catch fish for up to 22 hours a day – for close to no pay. According to the report, the men, who get no days off, are kept in cramped cages in horrid conditions – and if they dare complain, they risk getting kicked, beaten and even whipped with toxic stingray tails. Their catch is shipped to Thailand where it enters the global commerce stream. And ultimately, much of it winds up in some of America’s major retailers and grocery stores, including Wal-Mart, Kroger, Albertsons and Safeway – as well as brands of canned pet food, such as Fancy Feast, Meow Mix and Iams.

More than 40 current and former slaves in Benjina were interviewed in the investigation, and some, risking their lives, begged reporters for help. Hlaing Min, a runaway slave, said many of his friends died at sea, while others are buried on the island under fake Thais names they were given. “If Americans and Europeans are eating this fish, they should remember us”, he added. “There must be a mountain of bones under the sea”.

See also here.

This music video is Bob Marley-Slave Driver. Live at Harvard 1979.

4 thoughts on “Hundreds freed from slave island in Indonesia

  1. Pingback: Palm oil corporations threaten wildlife | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  2. Tuesday 17th November 2015

    posted by Morning Star in World

    SIX men faced charges in an Indonesian court yesterday related to human trafficking connected with slavery in the seafood industry.

    The suspects — five Thais and an Indonesian — were arrested in the remote island village of Benjina in May. Two more Indonesians are due to face similar charges this morning at the Tual district court in Maluku province.

    All are charged with violating a 2007 law against people-smuggling that carries a maximum jail sentence of 15 years and fines as high as £30,000. The eight defendants are employees at Pusaka Benjina Resources, one of the largest fishing firms in eastern Indonesia.

    They are accused of locking up fishermen for one to six months in a prison-like cell located in the company’s compound in Benjina.

    A police investigation found that hundreds of foreign fishermen had been recruited in Thailand and brought to Indonesia using fake immigration papers and seafarer books and subjected to brutal mistreatment.


  3. Pingback: Seven years in Thai dictatorship’s prison for helping slave workers? | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  4. Pingback: Slavery in Thailand today | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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