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
16 persons detained in connection with release of secret recordings
According to the Ministry of Internal Affairs, 16 persons have been detained in connection with the release of secret recordings.
Eka Beselia: “You will not be able to stop me, to make me stay silent, to disappear me!!!
MP Eka Beselia has posted an open letter on her Facebook page, following reports of sex tape leak.
CORRUPTION PERCEPTIONS INDEX 2018: Georgia got 58 out of 100
According to the CORRUPTION PERCEPTIONS INDEX 2018, Georgia scored 58 and was consequently ranked as 41 among 180 countries.
83% of Georgians support integration into the NATO, 78% into the EU – NDI
83% of NDI respondents support Georgia's integration into the EU, - the poll results of the National Democratic Institute say.
January 25 – birthday of the second president of Georgia
The 25th of January marks the 91st birthday of the second president of Georgia Eduard Shevardnadze.
Jack Shepherd from the UK detained in Georgia
A British man who went on the run last year after killing a woman in a speedboat crash on the River Thames has been detained in the former Soviet state of Georgia - says Reuters.
Georgia recognizes Juan Guaido as an interim president
Georgia recognized Venezuelan parliament speaker Juan Guaidó as an interim president.
Georgian PM aims to turn Georgian into a center of the region
Georgian PM Mamuka Bakhtadze is in Davos to participate in World Economic Forum. He gave interviews to two media outlets – CNBC TV and Deutsche Welle.
Judges that served the violent regime of Saakashvili should not be in the Supreme Court, says Eka Beselia
Eka Beselia, a member of the parliamentary majority, held a press conference in the Parliament today.
Possible confrontation within the Georgian Dream Party?
Eka Beselia, a member of the ruling party, will hold a news conference in the Parliament at 12:00 today.
13 dead from swine flu in Georgia, emergency treatment to be free for all
13 people died from swine flu in Georgia so far, but there is no risk of epidemy, says Georgian Minister of Health.
Georgian president Salome Zurabishvili not ready for launching diplomatic dialogue with Russia
I'm not ready to give any advice to the legislative body about the launch of the diplomatic relations or dialogue with Russia
Georgia suffering the steepest drop in democratic quality in eastern Europe
According to the statistics for the Democracy Index 2018, published by Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU),
“Let’s see if you can wrestle with women”- Interior minister to the opposition
Female Police officers were mobilized in front of the Gurjaani District Court where the case of Davit Kirkitadze, the member of the United Opposition was considered.
Georgian citizens can apply for temporary residency in France
150 permits for young specialists as well as additional 500 permits will be granted each year to go to work to France.
Numbers of Georgians seeking asylum in Germany has significantly decreased
According to Ambassador of Georgia to Germany Elguja Khokrishvili, the drop of asylum requests has been due to recently taken steps.
U.S. Congress supports Georgia with a new bill
Unanimously the U.S. approved the act, which calls for imposing sanctions on Russian actors for the commission of serious human rights abuses in the occupied Georgian territories of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
‘Horn wrestling’ between opposition party leader and police chef
Yesterday on the 16th of December, clashes occurred between Nika Melia, leader of the United National Movement and Teimuraz Kupatadze, head of patrol police department in the village of Velistsikhe, Kakheti region (eastern part of Georgia).
Salome Zourabichvili officially becomes the fifth president of Georgia
The inauguration ceremony of president-elect Salome Zourabichvili took place in Telavi, Kakheti (eastern region of Georgia) on the 16th of December.
Fight erupt in paliament between Georgian MPs during session
Verbal and physical confrontation has occurred between MPs in the parliament.
Famous Georgians invited at the Inauguration of Salome Zourabichvili
The inauguration ceremony of president elect Salome Zourabishvili will be held in Telavi, Kakheti (eastern region of Georgia) on the 16th of December.
Exclusive interview with Lincoln Mitchell, American political analyst and Georgia expert
More than 20,000 people responded to the appeal of the opposition and gathered in front of the former parliament building in downtown Tbilisi last Sunday.
The after-pains of the presidential election in Georgia
Yesterday evening, at a meeting with his supporters in the Philharmonic Hall, the defeated candidate Grigol Vashadze made it clear that he didn’t recognize the result of the presidential elections and called for early parliamentary elections.
National democratic institute publishes their findings about the presidential elections in Georgia
A delegation of the National Democratic Institute, which included observers from five countries, analyzed the election process.
International media about the runoff presidential elections in Georgia
Although it didn’t hit the headlines, newspapers and broadcast around the world report about Salome Zurabishvili as the first woman who became president in Georgia.
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
February 2019
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