Freed Georgian Captives on Their Way to Homeland
12 January, 2012
Freed Georgian Captives on Their Way to Homeland

“It was a hell of a torture. We’ve been chained for eight months”

“There was not a single day when I would not think about this problem. We were nervous because we faced the deadlock repeatedly. There are hostages from the EU countries also

Our friends were telling us to abandon futile efforts as it was just beyond our scale to free these people. Nevertheless we were sticking to our hopes, never ceasing to seek a way out. I used to

make all types of decrees and send our representatives there many times. Another problem was our inability to publicly talk about the situation. We would hear a lot of criticism addressed to us. But we could not reveal our ongoing efforts because everything could instantly go down the drains. The Georgian Authorities will fight for every Georgian citizen to the end. As the Government and as the State, we do not have any greater ambition and more important task than this,” – said Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili.


According to various sources, the ransom money paid by the insurance company was somewhere between 1 and 3 million dollars. However, the official story of the Georgian side depicts a different picture too. The press service of the Georgian Marine Transportation Agency categorically denies that the Georgian side paid anything for the release of the Georgian hostages but give no details about terms of release. At the time of the release, Georgian delegation was visiting Somali. It was headed by Giorgi Karbelashvili, Deputy Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development.

The crew of the tanker which was sailing under the Maltese flag consisted of 15 Georgian and 3 Turkish sailors. They were captured by Somali pirates on 8 October, 2010 in the Aden passage. The captors demanded several millions in ransom from the Greek company which owned the ship. But the company refused to pay the ransom. Accordingly, the negotiations arrived to the deadlock. In October, 2011 the Somali pirates released the video footage depicting how hostages are appealing for help.
Murman Dumbadze, Chair of the public movement “Serve Georgia” says that a few weeks ago insurance companies which work in the shipping sector met in London and collected a huge sum to resolve the hostage standoff. In addition, active steps of the Greek Government and Turkish Prime-Minister Erdoghan moved the matter out of the deadlock. When the companies managed to collect 1 million Dollars, they called Georgian Foreign Ministry telling them that the Georgian citizens would soon be freed. They asked the Ministry at least to send its representatives for the finalization of few formal questions.

According to the Georgian Marine Transportation Agency, by now the health of the Georgian sailors is satisfactory. In parallel, migration-related procedures are underway for returning the former hostages to their homeland. Giorgi Karbelashvili, Deputy Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development claims that from the first days of the sailors’ captivity, the Georgian President was personally in control of the situation. It was a priority for him. He said that at various time points many international organizations, ship owners and governments of various countries were involved in the attempts to free the hostages. Karbelashvili said that six months ago there was an option of military operation but the state did not choose it as the lives of the sailors were in jeopardy.
The Turkish Media reports that the happy end of the story was made possible after the Danish Royal Navy destroyed a large marine military base of Somali pirates last December and captured Somali pirates who actively cooperated with the investigation. All these cheered up the sailors.

Political union “Salome Zurabishvili – Georgian way” demands that the Georgian Authorities disclose details of how the Georgian sailors were freed. Family members of the freed 15 Georgian sailors met Levan Varshalomidze, leader of Achara Autonomous Republic. The mother of one of the sailors said to the Palitra TV that parents of the sailors were summoned by Levan Varshalomidze personally and informed about the release of their loved ones.
“We were kept in inhumane conditions. It was a hell of a torture accompanied with hunger, thirst, beating. We were chained for eight months. Now we are fine. We are on board of a ship protected by the guards,” – says the ship captain Memed Zakariadze.
Right now the Georgian seamen are in the Indian Ocean heading for one of the African sea ports.

Other Stories
International observers about the presidential election in Georgia
The presidential election took place on the 28th of October in Georgia.
First Ladies of Independent Georgia
The presidential election took place on the 28th of October in Georgia. It was the last election in which the president will be selected by popular vote.
Funny incidents on Election Day in Georgia
The presidential election took place on the 28th of October in Georgia.
Deadline for the second round of presidential elections in Georgia is December 2
Presidential elections were held on the 28th of October in Georgia. None of the candidates managed to get majority of votes, so the second round of elections is to be appointed.
The USA National Security Advisor John Bolton is in Georgia
National Security Advisor of the United States John Bolton visited Georgia today.
People are detained at the Cannabis Festival
Today, Georgian political movement Girchi holds an event in the Dedaena Park called the Cannabis Festival.
Top safest countries and Georgia is among them - new survey says
Georgia is among the safest countries in the world. This fact is substantiated by various surveys and researches.
Who is interested in the cultivation of cannabis in Georgia?
Several weeks ago the government announced about its initiative to legalize the cultivation of medical marijuana in Georgia.
Fight in Gori – head of administration uses a bin full of manure
There was an incident yesterday in Gori municipality, Georgia at the entrance of the municipality building.
2 Georgian detainees freed from the Tskhinvali prison
Georgian detainees Maia Otinashvili and Akaki Dotiashvili are freed from the Tskhinvali prison. They had been accused of illegally crossing a so-called the borderline into the occupied Tskhinvali region.
Georgia might provide Far East countries with armored vehicles
LEPL State Military Scientific-Technical Center "Delta" might provide several Far East countries with armored vehicles, - “Delta” has informed InterPressNews about it.
Who can be the next first lady of Georgia?
On the 28th of October, presidential elections will be held in Georgia. The last elections in October 2013 resulted in a victory for Giorgi Margvelashvili, a candidate of the Georgian Dream (the ruling party).
Another Georgian kidnapped at the occupational line, stays detained
Maia Otinashvili (a mother of three children) was detained in her own garden on the 19th of September. Eyewitnesses claim that she was kidnapped by armed people with masks.
Fight broke out in the Georgian TV show
Fight in the Georgian Show Archevani (a choice) broke out between the guests yesterday.
7 amendments that come in force today in Georgia
On the 1st of October, 7 new amendments come in force in Georgia.
Speaker of the parliament plays Knockin' on Heaven's Door
What do the politicians do when they have free time? It is an interesting issue in every country.
What are the new New Year decorations for Tbilisi
New Year decorations and its price in Tbilisi is always a matter of discussion in the capital.
Mamuka Bakhtadze gives a speech at the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly
Mamuka Bakhtadze, the prime minister of Georgia is attending the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly from the 24th of September.
Georgia will ban use, import and production of plastic bags
The Georgian government has decided to tighten rules regulating use of plastic bags in Georgia.
The parliament returns to Tbilisi
The Parliament of Georgia will continue working in Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia from January 2019. Currently, the building is located in Kutaisi (west Georgia).
Mamuka Bakhtadze is visiting the USA within the working visit
The Georgian PM Mamuka Bakhtadze Brought a wreath to the tomb of the Georgian military serviceman John Malkhaz Shalikashvili.
Use of plastic bags to be reduced from the 1st of October
Within the framework of the Green Economics and Environmental Protection Policy the Georgian government has approved new regulations
Four Russian Journalists have not been allowed to enter Georgia
Three members of the Russian delegation were not allowed to enter Georgia as this would have violated the Law on the Occupied Territories of Georgia.
Tbilisi sign may appear on the Funicular hill
Hollywood has become a source of inspiration for many people worldwide. A similar idea from a Tbilisi citizen sounds very clever and attractive.
Russia was at an undeclared war with Georgia for years - Matthew Bryza
I think anybody who has observed how Russia has been conducting its war in Ukraine should realize that Russia was at war with Georgia, an undeclared war for years,
Exchange Rates
GEL Exchange Rate
Other Stories
On 26 May, Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, joined celebrations in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi
Violation of Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity by Assad regime has been strictly criticized
Exactly one year ago, Georgia was granted visa-free travel with the European Union.
Georgia’s ex-president president Mikheil Saakashvili's supporters managed to free detained Mikheil Saakashvili in the center of Kiev.
The US Ambassador to Georgia Ian Kelly congratulates Georgia on Independence Day.
The regulations on the introduction of visa-free travel for citizens of Georgia have been officially signed in Brussels.
The entire Georgia is involved in Secret Santa game, which means that people are sending gifts to each other secretly
The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia is taking part in NATO Ministerial underway in Brussels, Belgium.
A special squad has been mobilized at the 48th polling station in Marneuli, Kvemo Kartli region.
Two politicians in Georgia have come to blows during a live TV debate ahead of the country’s parliamentary elections, Euronews reports.
GEL Exchange
November 2018
Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30