TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Indonesian Foreign Affairs Minister Retno Marsudi has handed over six ship-crew members to their families today after the six were taken hostage by an armed group in Benghazi, Libya, since September 23, 2017.
“I would like to thank the hostage rescue team. This is the collective hard work of the Foreign Affairs’ citizenship protection directorate, Indonesian intelligence Agency [BIN], and Indonesian Embassies in Tripoli and Tunisia,” Retno said.
"We have also communicated with the crew to confirm their condition,” she further explained.
In her statement, Retno said the release was beset by multiple obstacles, including political and security factors. She added the ministry would provide assistance to help restore the rights of the crew.
“There is no other word other than Alhamdulillah. Allah’s blessing helped free the crew that was taken hostage,” said Retno Marsudi. The crew comprised two men from Jakarta and Blitar, while the other four hailed from Tegal.
The six seamen abducted were of the shipping boat Salvatore that operated under a Maltese flag. The ship was taken hostage 72 miles off the Libyan coast for a whole seven months.