RIYADH: Qatar released three Bahrainis on Thursday who were arrested at sea while on a fishing trip.
Sami Ibrahim Al-Haddad – a bodybuilding champion – and his friend Mohammed Yousef Al-Dossari were arrested on January 8 by Qatari coastal and border security. Manama said they were in Bahrain’s territorial waters at the time.
The release was “based on Cabinet directives to the Interior Ministry to take all necessary measures to expedite the release of all citizens detained by Qatar and return them to Bahrain,” the Interior Ministry said. Bahrain.
However, the ministry added that their boats are still held by Qatar.
Qatari authorities also released Habib Abbas, a Bahraini fisherman who was arrested in another incident on December 3.
The Interior Ministry said that brought the total number of boats Qatar has confiscated so far to 50.
The three men were returned to Bahrain via Oman, the kingdom’s embassy in the sultanate confirmed.
“Upon their arrival in Bahrain, their statements will be taken to the General Directorate of Criminal Investigations and Forensic Sciences to ascertain the circumstances of their arrest, in order to take the necessary legal measures in this regard,” the ministry said.
The ministry said on Sunday evening that the kingdom “strongly condemned the arrest by the Qatari coast guard of Bahraini bodybuilding champion Sami Al-Haddad while on a fishing cruise with a number of his companions in the waters. territories of Bahrain, ”the ministry said on Sunday.
He also said that Manama had “called on the Qatari authorities to immediately release … Haddad and his companions, and to stop attacking Bahraini fishermen at sea and arrest them unjustly”.
Bahrain was one of four countries, along with Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt, to announce that they ended a three-year rift with Qatar on January 5 at a summit of CCG to AlUla, officially restoring diplomatic relations.
Manama reopened its airspace with Doha on January 11, and Bahrain’s foreign minister invited a Qatari delegation to visit the kingdom as soon as possible to begin discussions on outstanding issues of mutual concern.