Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb. 4
By Khalid Kazimov - Trend:
Iran's Deputy Interior Minister in Security and Police Affairs Hossein Zolfaqari has denied reports that a few Iranian fishermen were shot dead at the border with Turkmenistan, ISNA news agency reported on Feb. 4.
"What happened was that on Nov. 6 four Iranian fishermen lost direction due to heavy storm and entered waters belonging in the Turkmen territory. They were then arrested by border guards of Turkmenistan, sent to court, and are now in prison," he said.
None of the people have been killed or shot at by border guards, he reiterated.
In response to a question whether Iran has taken any measures to free the men, he said that the Iranian border protection officials have held several meetings with Turkmen counterparts.
"But the Turkmen side has said that the fishermen have been sent to court; and that based on the Turkmen law they have to do their time before they can be released," Zolfaqari further noted.
On Jan. 31, some sources reported that the fishermen, coming from Golestan Province in northern Iran by the Caspian Sea, had been ambushed by Turkmen security forces and shot at.
The reports said that one of the fishermen's boats had sunk following the shooting, one fisherman died, and the rest were taken into custody.