UPDATE: On 2 July, Kevin Neish, Robert Lovelace and Herman Reksten were deported. Please keep up the action to free the remaining flotilla activists!
The Freedom Flotilla to Gaza and its boat the “Marianne of Gothenburg,” sailed by international activists seeking to break the Israeli naval blockade of the Palestinian people of Gaza through international solidarity, were violently attacked at sea by the Israeli navy on 29 June 2015. The sailors of the Marianne remained imprisoned in Givon prison near Ramon. Take action and demand their immediate release!
Video of the attack on the “Marianne”:
The Freedom Flotilla Coalition issued the following statement and call for solidarity. Inside Palestine, the Palestinian Prisoners Committee has launched a campaign and project to free the flotilla sailors:
It has been more than 50 hours since Israeli navy attacked the “Marianne” in international waters, 100nm from Gaza, during one of its usual acts of State piracy, always behaving as the bullying state of eastern Mediterranean. 18 participants on board were kidnapped and brought by force and against their will to the military Ashdod port. During the operation of seizure of the “Marianne”, which IDF called “uneventful”, Israeli soldiers used violence against participants on board.
Dr. Bassel Ghattas (Member of Knesset), Dr. Moncef Marzouki (ex-President of Tunisia), Ana Miranda (Member of European Parliament) and Ohad Hemo (Channel 2 journalist), were released and the rest were moved to Givon prison at Ramla area, where they remain hostages until this moment.
The Freedom Flotilla Coalition stands with all sailors of the “Marianne” who are illegally kept in the Israeli prison. We demand that the State of Israel immediately releases them and also returns the “Marianne of Gothenberg”. We demand that our governments condemn violence of the State of Israel against peaceful citizens and stand by the rights of the Palestinian people.
The imprisoned flotilla sailors for freedom are: Nadya Kevorkova, Russia; Kajsa Ekis Ekman, Sweden; Robert Lovelace, Canada (Indigenous leader); Joel Opperdoes, Sweden; Gustave Bergstrom, Sweden; Herman Reksten, Norway; Kevin Neish, Canada; Jonas Karlin, Sweden; Charlie Andreasson, Sweden; Dror Feiler, Sweden. There are reports that the Canadian and Norwegian citizens will be deported on Thursday; however all of the imprisoned sailors are demanding to be deported as a group, with no one left behind.
1. Click here to send a message to Israeli officials demanding the immediate release of the flotilla sailors. Also, demand the release of the “Marianne of Gothenburg.”
2. Protest at the Israeli consulate or embassy against the attack on the flotilla, and to end the siege on Gaza. Bring posters and flyers about Gaza and the flotilla and hold a protest, or join a protest with this important information. Hold a community event or discussion, or include this issue in your next event about Palestine and social justice.
3. Boycott, Divest and Sanction. Hold Israel accountable for its violations of international law. Don’t buy Israeli goods, and campaign to end investments in corporations that profit from the occupation. Learn more at bdsmovement.net.
I write today to demand the immediate release of the following sailors of the “Marianne,” the Gaza Freedom Flotilla, who were with their boat unlawfully and violently kidnapped from the seas by the Israeli navy in an act of state piracy as they sailed to bring their humanitarian message and support to the besieged Palestinian people in Gaza.
I demand the immediate release of the following international activists, held in Givon prison, and the immediate return of the boat, the “Marianne of Gothenburg”:
Nadya Kevorkova, Russia
Kajsa Ekis Ekman, Sweden
Joel Opperdoes, Sweden
Gustave Bergstrom, Sweden
Jonas Karlin, Sweden
Charlie Andreasson, Sweden
Dror Feiler, Sweden