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International relations

Indonesia condemns abuse of fishermen on Chinese boats

Foreign minister says poor conditions led to death of three, whose bodies were dumped

Indonesian Navy vessel KRI Imam Bonjol inspects a Chinese flagged fishing boat in waters near Natuna Islands, Indonesia. (Indonesian Navy via Reuters)

JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) -- Indonesia's government on Sunday condemned what it called the "inhuman" treatment of its nationals by a Chinese fishing company that allegedly kept Indonesian fishermen as virtual slaves, leading to the deaths of at least three of them.

Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi told a video conference from the capital, Jakarta, that 49 Indonesian fishermen, ranging from 19 to 24 years old, were forced to work an average of over 18 hours a day on at least four Chinese fishing boats.

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