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Freedom Flotilla: Fintan Lane speaks of his harrowing experience

category international | rights, freedoms and repression | news report author Thursday June 03, 2010 15:55author by Kev - IPSC Report this post to the editors

MV Rachel Corrie 400 miles from Gaza, invites UN to inspect cargo

Speaking from Istanbul, Dr Fintan Lane, of the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign (IPSC), spoke of his experiences on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla which was attacked by Israeli forces on Monday and his time in Israeli detention. He said he was assaulted in custody, while three other Irish received severe beatings and one. Dr. Lane is due to return to Ireland tomorrow afternoon where he will address a press conference in the City Centre.

Meanwhile, the Irish ship the MV Rachel Corrie continues en route o Gaza and is currently 400 miles away and is expected to arrive on Saturday. Speaking from the aid carrying ship, Dennis Halliday said: “We want to emphasise that our aim is not provocation but getting our aid cargo into Gaza. We are calling on the UN to inspect the cargo and escort us into Gaza, and to send a UN representative to sail on board before they enter the exclusion zone. We all remain in good spirits, and we want to thank everyone all over the world for all their support.” The boat is traveling at approximately 210 miles a day, and is being captain by Eric Harcis, a Scottish man from Orkney.

Tthe IPSC with the support of ICTU has called a mass demonstration at 2pm on Saturday against the killings and in support of the Rachel Corrie.

Speaking from a hotel room in Istanbul, Dr Lane gave an update on the status of the Irish passengers who had been kidnapped by Israel on Monday. Dr Lane said: “I am currently in a hotel with Fiachra O Luian, both of us arrived here late last night. Fiachra was beaten up at the airport and has to go into hospital today for tests. Al Mahdi Al Harati suffered a diabetes related seizure on the plane and this, coming on top of a severe attack he received on board the Mavi Marmara, meant he had to be brought to hospital in Ankara last night.”

Dr Lane continued: “Ken O’Keefe, the Irish-American passenger, suffered a severe beating at the hands of security officials at Tel Aviv airport before boarding, and his injuries were so bad that he had to be hospitalised in Tel Aviv – the Israelis are claiming this delay in his repatriation is for ‘technical reasons’, yet another Israeli lie. Finally, a number of passengers are still unaccounted for, no one I’ve spoken to knows where these people are, it is very worrying.”

Dr Lane also spoke about the Israeli attack and hijacking of his ship, and his time is captivity. He said: “When they boarded our boat, we resisted entirely peacefully. I sat on the floor and tried to reason with them, but the Israeli commandos physically attacked us. Fiachra was dragged around the ground and I had a gun pointed in my face by a screaming commando. His mania was so intense that I genuinely feared for my life. Others received beatings.”

“When they finally took over our ship, and forced us to dock in Ashdod, we refused to disembark. We sat down, linked arms and said that we had been illegally kidnapped and brought against our will to Israel. We were all forcibly removed from the boat and brought to interrogation rooms in the port. At this point, I refused to hand over my passport, restating my position that I would not cooperate with my illegal detention and was under no obligation to do so. I was then physically assaulted, my arms were painfully twisted behind my back for prolonged periods and my passport taken.”

“We were then transferred to the prison in Be’er Shevva – though were told we were in Tel Aviv by our captors – and held incommunicado until it was announced that we were all to be deported. It was only at that time that we finally met with the Irish Ambassador.”

”In prison I was told about events on the Mavi Marmara, people being shot, left to bleed to death, beaten and bitten by dogs. By all accounts it sounded like it was hell on that boat.”

Dr Lane will arrive back in Ireland tomorrow afternoon – he will be on a plane from Istanbul that leaves at 10.45am (local time) and is scheduled to arrived in Dublin at 1.20pm. When he arrives back in Ireland, there will be a welcoming committee at the airport, and Dr Lane will address a press conference in the City Centre later tomorrow. Full details of this welcoming committee and press conference will be circulated in a further press release.

In Turkey today, thousands attended the funerals of the 9 confirmed dead passengers – all of whom are Turkish, expect one who was an American of Turkish origin. In other news, South African has just announced that it is recalling its Ambassador to Israel over the Flotilla killings.

Finally, the Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign (IPSC), with the support of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) has called for a mass mobilisation in Dublin on Saturday to protest the killings, to support of the MV Rachel Corrie and to call for an end to the illegal three-year-old Israeli siege of Gaza. The event starts at 2pm at the Garden of Remembrance where a wreath will be laid in memory to the dead, and will be followed by a march to the Department of Foreign Affairs, where there will be speakers from the Freedom Flotilla, the IPSC, the ICTU and the Irish politicians.

Related Link: http://www.ipsc.ie
author by Ray - Cork WSM (pers. cap.)publication date Thu Jun 03, 2010 17:15author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Fintan, it is a great relief to hear that you are relatively well after your ordeal, although it is limned with sadness and anger at the inhuman and criminal way that the Israeli state and its armed thugs treated you and your colleagues on the Freedom Flotilla. Peacefully challenging the lunatic criminal state that is Israel is the most dangerous solidarity work in the world, and I have the utmost admiration for those indefatigable activists that carry the burden of bearing witness to the atrocities visited daily on the Palestinian people and carrying out acts of solidarity and mercy like the Freedom Flotilla. These tasks, though fraught with lethal danger as the criminal assault and mass kidnap on the high seas Monday morning once again reminded us, are utterly necessary and, I salute you all for carrying the message and will of the conscientious people of the world to this lunatic, criminal and out-of-control régime.

END THE SIEGE OF GAZA! FREE PALESTINE!

author by opus diablos - the regressive hypocrite partypublication date Thu Jun 03, 2010 19:40author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I've gone and changed it again.I dont believe the Israeli ambassador should be expelled.I think he should be stripped of his credentials and arrested for complicity in high seas piracy, abduction and abuse of humanitarian aid workers.Time for someone who knows their way around a law book to register a charge.I believe there are courageous Spanish precedents that can be drawn on that arose to give Pinochet a belated dart in his inflated arse.Perhaps our own president could apply her legal skills,given the abuse of our passport security.There is a human rights institute attached to the galway university that might justify its funding from the public budget by issuing a statement as to our options.The logic of Israel seems to be the logic of Mars.Was it Orwell or Huxley coined 'war is peace,peace is war'?

author by old codger - pensionerpublication date Thu Jun 03, 2010 20:55author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Joe Biden has publicly stated his support for Israeli crimes and believes that they should hold their own enquiry. Since when is it feasable for criminals to investigate their own crimes?
Ireland and other EU countries are afraid of upsetting America who in my opinion is just as guilty as the Israelis.
Even though American citizens are harmed by Israel it means nothing to unscrupulous American interests. While america gives it's consent Israel will continue to commit crimes against humanity.
It is time to call a halt to deliberate injustice and stand up to these bullies.
Good luck best wishes and my admiration to all the courageous people involved in the flottila and the crew of the Rachel Corrie.
IRELAND IS PROUD OF YOUR HUMANITY AND HEROEISM.

author by Satire?publication date Thu Jun 03, 2010 21:03author address author phone Report this post to the editors


You have made a post that dares to criticize Israel. As you know, this obviously makes you an anti-semite. I would like to point out the important following facts that are relevant to to each and every discussion on the subject of Israeli rights and wrongs:

# No jewish person has every been guilty of any crime, anywhere - suggestions to the contrary prove that you are obviously an anti-semite

# 6 million Jews died in the holocaut

# You are an anti-semite.

# 6 million Jews died in the holocaust.

# You are an anti-semite.

# 6 million Jews died in the holocaust.

Therefore, given the list of highly relevant points raised by us, above, it is clear that your claim of Israel attacking a humanitarian aid flotilla in international waters is motivated solely by your own, genetically-encoded since time immemorial, propensity for Jew-hate and is obviously anti-semitic nonsense and people should continue to send money and military support to Israel.

Yours sincerely,

The Government of Israel

P.S. you are an anti-semite.

author by Bazooka Joepublication date Fri Jun 04, 2010 16:22author address author phone Report this post to the editors

A highly respected Washington analyst, Tony Cordesman, at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, expresses how Israel in now a strategic liability for the US.

"It is time Israel realized that it has obligations to the United States, as well as the United States to Israel, and that it become far more careful about the extent to which it tests the limits of U.S. patience and exploits the support of American Jews."

It appears that the US is tiring of Israel in the wake of this most recent act of state terrorism.

Related Link: http://csis.org/publication/israel-strategic-liability
author by Bazooka Joepublication date Fri Jun 04, 2010 21:03author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Fiachra O'Luin and Fintan Lane speak to RTE at Dublin Airport June 4th 2010

http://www.rte.ie/news/2010/0604/mideast_av.html?276593...l,230

author by Mpublication date Sun Jun 06, 2010 16:05author address author phone Report this post to the editors

http://www.richmondandtwickenhamtimes.co.uk/news/nation...Lane/

and some more news articles about Fiachra
Inishowen News http://www.inishowennews.com/06GazaFiachra0501.htm

Boston Herald with quotes from his father, Joe Bangert http://www.bostonherald.com/news/regional/view.bg?artic...58520

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