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The Central Islamic Organization of Guyana (CIOG) has called for the release of the 12 Guyanese fishermen, along with their catch and vessels, detained in Venezuela since January 21, 2021.
CIOG’s President (ag) Goolzar Namdar, in a statement said that the act has hindered the economic activity of innocent Guyanese civilians and threatens Guyana’s territorial integrity and sovereignty.
“These fishermen should not be made collateral damage or used as scapegoats by the Maduro regime. The action taken by Caracas is a violation of international human rights law, regarding the right to livelihood and the prohibition on arbitrary arrest and detention. The CIOG, therefore, echoes its demand for the release of the 12 fishermen, their catch, and their boats. Guyana is a peaceful country where all are welcomed including citizens of Venezuela. The release of the fishermen and their property will be a positive gesture and can be used as [a] basis to resume dialogue between the two countries,” the body stated.
Furthermore, CIOG said that it stands firmly behind the Government of Guyana and supports tPresident Irfaan Ali’s call for the release of the men and the respect of Guyana’s territorial integrity.
On January 21, 2021, two Guyanese registered fishing vessels were intercepted by Venezuelan naval vessel Commandante Hugo Chavez GC 24, while operating off the coast of Waini Point at a position of N 80 49’ 06”/ w 590 37’ 40” W.
Other countries and groups to demand the release of the men and vessels include Belize, Brazil, Canada, France, Trinidad and Tobago, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, the OAS and CARICOM.