Gaza Solidarity Flotilla: EU Parliament President calls on Israel to free Paul Murphy

Breaking News: 7 detainees to be "released" tomorrow, followed by Paul Murphy MEP on Friday

Today, the European parliament’s president called on Israel to release Paul Murphy MEP, who is along with 20 other protesters, is still detained for trying to break the blockade of the Gaza Strip, last week.

Just an hour or so ago today, it was also reported by an advisor to the European President’s Cabinet, Dariusz Serowka, that the Irish Deputy Ambassador to Israel, Conor Long, confirmed that 7 detainees have been booked on a flight to leave Tel Aviv on 9 November at 8.10am. Long went on to say that the Israeli Mission in Brussels stated Paul Murphy will be put on a flight from Tel Aviv to Dublin on 11 November at 9 05 hours.

The Cabinet of the European Parliament President spokesperson said they were in constant contact with the Israeli authoritites to ensure nothing is done to "block the return of those detained, or cause any difficulties in the process"

These developments follow a storm of international protest at the actions of the Israeli state. It appears the Israeli authorities are at last bending to the international furore. However, more protests are needed, demanding all those detained are actually released, immediately and without delay.

Israeli commandos stormed the Irish vessel, Saoirse (Freedom) and the Canadian ship Tahrir (Liberation) in international waters off Gaza, last Friday. Paul Murphy and the other detainees were effectively kidnapped in international waters by the Israeli forces. The ship was boarded in such a manner as to put their lives at risk and passengers were tasered. Twenty seven passengers and crew aboard the two ships were taken into custody. On arriving in prison their right to a phone call within 24 hours was ignored and the prison authorities used sleep deprivation methods against the protesters. Six protesters were later released on Saturday.

The following interview with one of the released journalists gives a thorough picture of the treatment of the flotilla activists by the Israeli regime

EU President Jerzy Buzek called on “Israeli authorities to quickly free Paul Murphy and other Europeans detained with him". Buzek said Israeli authorities must "respect the rights" of the detainees.

Fifth day of detention

The detention of Paul Murphy and the other activists from the MV Saoirse and the Tahrir has continued into its fifth day. They were brought before a judge yesterday in accordance with Israeli law, but were returned to their cells.

Their continued detention and the treatment which they have received is politically motivated. The Israeli regime is clearly intent on punishing these activists as severely as possible to deter any further attempts to break the blockade of Gaza.

The GUE/NGL group of Left MEPs in the European Parliament, to which Paul Murphy belongs, have also demanded Paul’s immediate release.

Also today, United Left Alliance TDs (members of the Irish Parliament), including Socialist Party TDs, demanded the Irish government take measures against the illegal and repressive actions of the Israeli government, including the expulsion of the Israeli ambassador.

Keep up the pressure! Send protests letters Israeli embassies and to the Israeli authorities:

Attorney General at the Ministry of Justice

Telephone +97226466521/2

Fax +97226467001

Ministry of Defence Public Relations Department

Phone +97236975540 or +97236975423

Email –

For more background information see previous articles on socialistworld.n

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November 2011