4 Filipino Seafarers Released After Month-Long Detention in Iran

Four Filipino seafarers freed after 1-month detention by Iran, highlighting risks faced by crews in the region. Philippine govt seeks high-risk designation for Strait of Hormuz to ensure sailor safety.

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4 Filipino Seafarers Released After Month-Long Detention in Iran

4 Filipino Seafarers Released After Month-Long Detention in Iran

Four Filipino seafarers who were part of the crew aboard the MSC Aries container ship have been freed after being detained by Iranian authorities for a month. The ship was seized near the Strait of Hormuz in early April, with Iran alleging violations of shipping regulations as the reason for the seizure.

According to the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), the four Filipinos were in good condition during their detention and were allowed to contact their families. The DFA stated that the seafarers were not being treated as prisoners or hostages, and their release was expected soon .

The Philippine government, through the DFA and the Department of Migrant Workers (DMW), worked to secure the release of the Filipino crew members. House Speaker Martin Romualdez called for their immediate release, emphasizing that the safety and return of the seafarers was the government's top priority.

This incident marks the fourth time since last year that Iran or its allied Houthi rebels have seized or attacked vessels with Filipino crew in the Middle East. It highlights the risks faced by seafarers in the region and the need for increased security measures to ensure their safety.

In response to the seizure, the DMW is pushing for the Strait of Hormuz to be classified as a "high-risk area" (HRA). If approved by the International Bargaining Forum, this designation would mandate heightened security protocols and give sailors the right to refuse sailing through the strait, with companies covering repatriation costs and providing compensation.

The Philippines has urged all parties involved to adhere to international law and work towards a peaceful resolution of the ongoing tensions between Israel and Iran. The government has also offered assistance for the possible repatriation of Filipinos from the two countries, though no citizens have expressed interest in returning so far.

The release of the four Filipino seafarers after a month-long detention comes as a relief to their families and the Philippine government. DFA Undersecretary Eduardo de Vega stated, "We are glad that they are safe and will soon be reunited with their loved ones. We thank the Iranian government for their cooperation in this matter."

Key Takeaways

  • 4 Filipino seafarers freed after 1-month detention by Iran near Strait of Hormuz
  • Seafarers were not treated as prisoners, allowed to contact families during detention
  • Philippine govt worked to secure release, calls for Strait of Hormuz to be high-risk area
  • This is 4th time since 2023 Iran/allies seized/attacked vessels with Filipino crew
  • Seafarers' release welcomed, govt thanks Iran for cooperation in the matter