NEWS

Captive sailors in poor health

Giorgos Skalimis, the 63-year-old Greek captain of a Saudi Arabian-flagged ship taken hostage by Somali pirates in March off the Gulf of Aden, is being detained in dire conditions by his captors and has been refused the medicine he requires for his high blood pressure and sugar levels, the captain’s wife has told Kathimerini. «The pirates have taken his phone and only allow us to speak to him for one minute every 20 days,» Maria Skalimi said. She added that the 63-year-old, and the 13-strong crew, who are all Sri Lankans, have been living in unsanitary conditions, sleeping on the deck of the vessel even amid storms and not being allowed to wash. According to her most recent conversation with the captain, some of the crew members are near comatose due to malnutrition. Mrs Skalimi said she believed the ransom for the release of the vessel has been collected but has yet to be disbursed due to administrative obstacles.