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Pirates and Saakashvili don’t care about sailors2010-12-13 18:24
Here is alarming news about the Georgian sailors held hostage by Somali pirates. The sailors are given practically no food, hygienic conditions in confinement are horrible, and recently one of the captives was severely beaten. Ransom-raising through a special foundation created by Georgia's trade unions is slow. In the meantime official Tbilisi imitates activity but has no intention to spend governmental and presidential reserve funds to save the compatriots. Do they wait to repatriate corpses, not breadwinners?
Only physically and morally sound people can survive three months in pirates' captivity. No one has precise information on the state of 15 Georgians and 3 Turks taken captives on Olib G ship under the flag of Malta.
Yesterday, father of one of the sailors, Grinvich -21 director Sergo Devadze learned from his son that his crew members had been severely beaten. "The pirates are hideous: they brought chains to tie up groups of five. They haven't been given food for 4 days already, yesterday they received a glass of water. The pirates threaten that if in a week's time the shipowner or his lawyer does not get in touch with them and offers the amount, the victims are inevitable!"
Practically every day families of Georgian sailors organize pickets at the government of Ajaria in Batumi.
They call the authorities to set the Georgian citizens free as soon as possible. The wives have written a letter to the president.
However, officials only make a helpless gesture saying that all negotiations with the pirates are held by the lawyer of the Greek shipowner. The only way to influence the sea bandits is consultations between the Georgian and Greek ministries of foreign affairs. They can't offer money directly not to incentivize the criminals. Still, if desired, any government could find a confidential way to pass part of the ransom to the shipowner in a situation like this. But it appears Grigol Vashadze's authority will do nothing but talk.
According to various information sources, the captors demand 3-15 million US dollars from the ship owner. A representative of Georgia's Sea Administration, who told about the amount of USD 1 mln, lost his job after the authority was dissolved.