Rotting Christ Arrested in Georgia After Being Mistaken for Terrorists

  • Axl Rosenberg

Unless Glenn Danzig grows wings out of his ass and starts flying across the world stopping to deliver chocolates at all the good kids’ houses, this is most definitely going to be the strangest thing you read today.

According to their label’s Facebook page, brothers and bandmates in Rotting Christ, vocalist/guitarist Sakis Tolis and drummer Themis Tolis, were arrested in Georgia (the country, not the state) last week “on spurious grounds involving charges of terrorism allegedly based on the band’s name.”

Explains Sakis:

“We arrived in Georgia’s capital Tbilisi very early in the morning of Thursday, 12th of April. After the regular document check at the border, my brother and I were stopped by the police on our way out from the airport. After some minutes, we were ordered to follow police to another area of the airport under the pretense of further questioning before entering the country. Instead, we had our passports and mobile phones taken away and were lead into a prison cell. When we were demanding to be told the reason for this arrest, we were simply told this information would be ‘confidential.’ Our lawyers informed us later that we are on a list of unwanted persons of national security that branded us as Satanists and therefore suspects of terrorism.

“Without previous warning and no official reason, we found ourselves in jail, locked into a small and rather dirty cell and without being permitted any contact to the outside world or legal representation or our embassy for 12 hours. Conditions were bad and no further information was provided during this time.

“Luckily, only the names ‘Tolis’ were on the list and the other two band members [guitarist George Emmanuel and bassist Vagelis Karzis] started to work with the local promoter to extract us from prison and commence legal procedures. It took strong efforts and a complicated procedure to find a solution. Due to the hard work of the local promoter, who involved legal experts, journalists, and activists in Georgia, we were finally released. We are extremely grateful to everybody involved in this process. In the end, we were even able to perform our show and it turned out to be a fantastic night. We would also like to thank all our Georgian metal brothers for their overwhelming support!”

The good news is, obviously, that this strange story has a happy ending. The bad news is that this might make other metal bands feel hesitant to travel to Georgia. I mean, I’m sure, like, Asking Alexandria have nothing to worry about, but like eighteen trillion other bands might get nervous. Hopefully this isn’t a trend or anything.

Here are Rotting Christ’s upcoming tour dates, assuming they don’t get arrested again:

21 Apr 18 Burgas (BG) Youth Cultural Center
04 May 18 Velenje (SI) Metal Days Warm Up show
05 May 18 Izegem (BE) Headbangers Ball Festival
11 May 18 Kopervik (NO) Karmøygeddon Festival 2018
13 May 18 London (UK) Incineration Festival
27 May 18 Langres (FR) Outch! Festival
02 Jun 18 Duisburg (DE) Rage Against Racism
07 Jun 18 Sölvesborg (SE) Sweden Rock
16 Jun 18 Cervený Kostelec (CZ) Metal Gate Festival
14 Jul 18 Anyksciai (LT) Devil Stone Festival
17 Aug 18 Borre (NO) Midgardsblot Festival (exact date tbc)
18 Nov 18 Bucharest (RO) Metal Gates

Thanks: Ranpal C.

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