Rotting Christ frontman arrested in Eastern Europe

Rotting Christ frontman Sakis Tolis has revealed that he and his brother were arrested in the Eastern European country of Georgia at the end of last week.

The news was confirmed by the band’s record label Season Of Mist after the pair were detained by authorities on Thursday morning.

The arrests occurred after the band arrived in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi, with Sakis Tolis explaining that they were taken into custody as they were apparently on a list of “unwanted persons” as they had been branded “Satanists and therefore suspects of terrorism.”

Tolis says: “We arrived in Georgia's capital Tbilisi very early in the morning of April12. 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 pretence 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.”

We had our passports and mobile phones taken away and were lead into a prison cell

Tolis says that they were both locked up in a dirty cell “without being permitted any contact to the outside world or legal representation or our embassy for 12 hours.”

He continues: “Luckily, only the names 'Tolis' were on the list and the other two band members 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.”

Tolis adds: “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 band were subsequently allowed to leave Georgia on their way to Armenia without further complications.

In 2016, Rotting Christ had to temporarily change their name to appease religious protestors in Cape Town, South Africa.

Their run of live shows continue later this month.

Rotting Christ 2018 tour dates

Apr 21: Burgas Youth Cultural Center, Bulgaria
May 04: Velenje Metal Days Warm Up Show, Slovenia
May 05: Izegem Headbangers Ball Festival, Belgium
May 11: Kopervik Karmøygeddon Festival 2018, Norway
May 13: London Incineration Festival, UK
May 27: Langres Outch! Festival, France
Jun 02: Duisburg Rage Against Racism, Germany
Jun 07: Sölvesborg Sweden Rock, Sweden
Jun 16: Cervený Kostelec Metal Gate Festival, Czech Republic
Jul 14: Anyksciai Devil Stone Festival, Lithuania
Nov 18: Bucharest Metal Gates, Romania

Scott Munro
Louder e-commerce editor

Scott has spent 35 years in newspapers, magazines and online as an editor, production editor, sub-editor, designer, writer and reviewer. Scott joined our news desk in the summer of 2014 before moving to the e-commerce team in 2020. Scott keeps Louder’s buyer’s guides up to date, writes about the best deals for music fans, keeps on top of the latest tech releases and reviews headphones, speakers, earplugs and more. Over the last 10 years, Scott has written more than 11,000 articles across Louder, Classic Rock, Metal Hammer and Prog. He's previously written for publications including IGN, the Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and The Herald newspapers, covering everything from daily news and weekly features, to tech reviews, video games, travel and whisky. Scott's favourite bands are Fields Of The Nephilim, The Cure, New Model Army, All About Eve, The Mission, Cocteau Twins, Drab Majesty, Marillion and Rush.