16:24 GMT26 January 2021
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Released Russian sailors have spoken out on the harsh conditions of their detention in Libya, saying that they were kept tied up for hours and forced to remain immobile.

    On Saturday, Alexander Malkevich, the head of Russia's nonprofit Foundation for National Values Protection, said that three Russians and one Ukrainian had been released from captivity in Libya. In the early hours of Sunday, a plane carrying the sailors arrived in Russia. The Tripoli-based government's Foreign Minister, Mohamed Siala, told Sputnik that the four had not been kidnapped, but had been arrested after their boat wrongly entered Libyan waters.

    "During one night we were kept tied up for 12 hours, immobilized. We were forced to constantly stay in the same position," crew member Viktor Bodryaga told reporters.

    Bodryaga noted that police had first treated them well, giving them food, water and cigarettes. But once they were transferred to the prosecutor's office, the conditions of detention deteriorated, and they were regularly held blindfolded.

    The sailor complained that there had been torture, during which he and the vessel’s senior engineer had felt unwell.

    He specified that the crew "spent 10 days in captivity."

    According to the sailor, until the last moment, when they were finally put on a plane to Russia, the crew was unaware of where they were being transported.

    When asked why the crew had been arrested, Bodryaga replied: "We have no idea what they wanted from us."

    The vessel’s captain, Dimitri Dimitriadi, added that no one had explained anything.

    "We sailed on our yacht. We did not kill anyone, we did not capture anyone ... We were just sailing past this state. And we were captured," Dimitriadi said.

    The return of the sailors was facilitated by Russian diplomats, including Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov.



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    sailors, Libya, Russia
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