Qatar claims UAE kidnapped fishermen at gunpoint from its waters

#GulfTensions

Doha says eight Indian fishermen are believed to be still in UAE after their boat was stormed by the Emirati navy and towed from Qatari waters

Emirati navy vessels on patrol in the Gulf (supplied)
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Friday 9 March 2018 14:07 UTC
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Qatar has complained to the UN Security Council and its secretary general over the alleged "kidnapping" of eight Indian fishermen by the UAE's navy in waters inside the Qatari economic zone.

Doha said in its complaint on Friday that the fishermen were taken at gunpoint on 19 January.

The allegations come as Qatar is locked in confrontation with the UAE and its chief ally Saudi Arabia over what they claim is Doha's support for "terrorism".

The incident constituted a kidnapping and is a dangerous precedent and a severe violation of international norms

- Qatar statement to UN

The Saudis and Emiratis placed a land blockade on Qatar last year and have claimed in recent months that Qatari vessels and aircraft have violated their waters and airspace.

Qatar's complaint to the UN said that "Qatari marine surveillance saw a UAE naval ship unload a boat into the Qatari economic zone.

"The boat then obstructed and kidnapped a Qatari fishing boat that had seven fishermen and a captain aboard, all of whom are Indian nationals.

"The fishermen were forced at gunpoint to enter the UAE economic zone.

"The incident constituted a kidnapping and is a dangerous precedent and a severe violation of international norms.

Qatar also said that the UAE was fully responsible for the safety of the members of the boat, and called on the international community to press the UAE into freeing the men, return the boat and any seized possessions.

The UAE had not responded to the complaint at the time of publication.