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Thursday, July 02, 2009

McKinney kidnapped by Israelis


For Immediate Release:
Thursday, July 2, 2009

Scott McLarty, Media Coordinator, 202-518-5624, cell 202-904-7614,
Starlene Rankin, Media Coordinator, 916-995-3805, starlene@gp.org

Statement from Cynthia McKinney; Israel holds 'Free Gaza 21' in a
prison in Ramla, Israel

• Cynthia McKinney calls WBAIX from Israeli prison:

• Texas Greens will participate in a press conference on the Free Gaza
21 in San Antonio on Friday, July 3

WASHINGTON, DC -- Former US Representative and 2008 Green presidential
candidate Cynthia McKinney has issued a statement on the seizure of
the Free Gaza Movement's 'Spirit of Humanity' relief boat by Israeli
gunboats in international waters on Monday.

Ms. McKinney and 18 other members of the 'Free Gaza 21' are currently
being held in Givon prison in Ramla, Israel. Two of the Free Gaza 21
have been released.

Cynthia McKinney delivered the following statement by phone:

"We were in international waters on a boat delivering humanitarian aid
to people in Gaza when the Israeli Navy ships surrounded us and
illegally threatened us, dismantled our navigation equipment, boarded
and confiscated the ship. All of us on board were then taken off the
ship and into custody, and brought into Israel and imprisoned.
Immigration officials in Israel said they did not want to keep us, but
we remain imprisoned. State Department and White House officials have
not effected our release or taken a strong public stance to condemn
the illegal actions of the Israeli Navy of enforcing a blockade of
humanitarian assistance to the Palestinians of Gaza, a blockade that
has been condemned by President Obama."

Ms. McKinney and other Free Gaza 21 members have refused to sign a
self-incriminating 'deportation form' stating that the Spirit of
Humanity was violating the Israeli blockade and trespassing Israeli
territorial waters by attempting to deliver supplies to Gaza. In
fact, the Spirit of Humanity was in international waters when it was
illegally seized by the Israeli navy in an act of piracy. The
imprisonment of the Free Gaza 21 and the Israeli navy's jamming the
boat's navigation system are further violations of international law
-- as are Israel's blockade of Gaza, occupation of Palestinian
territories, and violations of Palestinians' human rights.

The boat was on a voyage to deliver medical supplies, cement, and
children's toys to Gaza following an appeal by President Obama for
supplies to be sent to Gaza. Because of their refusal to sign the
form, Israeli authorities will reportedly hold Ms. McKinney and other
Free Gaza 21 members in the prison for three more days before the
Israeli Government can either choose to release them or continue to
detain them.

In a phone call with WBAIX from the prison (listen at
http://www.wbaix.org/), Cynthia McKinney said, "It is incumbent upon
President Obama to stand by his reported policy of easing the Gazan
blockade and of allowing building supplies, medical supplies, and
school supplies to go through," adding "we call upon President Obama
to use the highest level of his authority to transmit this message to
the Israelis."

Along with Ms. McKinney, Nobel laureate Mairead Corrigan Maguire is
among the Free Gaza 21's international list of human rights activists.
(Democracy Now! interview with Ms. Maguire from her prison cell:

The Green Party of the United States has called for the immediate
release of the Free Gaza 21 and for permission for the Spirit of
Humanity to resume its delivery of urgently needed medical and other
supplies to Gaza, which is suffering the effects of a brutal invasion
by Israel last December and January

Green leaders have urged party members and other concerned about the
situation to call the White House, the US State Department, and
members of Congress.

Texas Greens (http://www.bexargreens.org/ /
http://txgreens.org/drupal), in coalition with the Council on
American-Islamic Relations (San Antonio), Muslim Public Affairs
Council, Esperanza Peace & Justice Center, and Fellowship of
Reconciliation, will hold a press conference on the Free Gaza 21 on
Friday, July 3, noon at the Esperanza Peace & Justice Center
(http://www.esperanzacenter.org/), 922 San Pedro Avenue in San Antonio.
The contact for the press conference is Kat Swift, who ran for the
Green presidential nomination in 2008. Ms. Swift can be reached at
210-471-1791 and kat@txgreens.org.

For further information and updates, see the Free Gaza Movement web
site (http://www.freegaza.org/). For more communications and updates
from Cynthia McKinney, visit her Green Party page
(http://www.gp.org/cynthia/index.php) and blog


Green Party of the United States http://www.gp.org/
202-319-7191, 866-41GREEN
Fax 202-319-7193
• Green candidate database for 2008 and other campaign information:
• Green Party News Center http://www.gp.org/newscenter.shtml
• Green Party Speakers Bureau http://www.gp.org/speakers
• Green Party ballot access page http://www.gp.org/2008-elections
• International Committee of the Green Party: http://www.gp.org/committees/intl

Green Party releases:
• "Breaking news: Cynthia McKinney aboard detained Free Gaza Movement
relief boat," June 25, 2009
• "Greens join Global Day of Action for Boycott, Divestment and
Sanctions on March 30 to end the Israeli occupation," March 26, 2009
• "Green Party: Israel-Palestine truce must include end of Israeli
occupation and observance of international law or violence is likely
to resume," January 19, 2009

2009 Annual National Meeting of the Green Party, Durham, NC, July
23-26 http://www.gp.org/2009-ANM
• North Carolina page http://ncgreenparty.org/2009-ANM.html
• Media credentialing page http://www.gp.org/forms/media

Green Pages, Vol. 13, No. 1
The official publication of record of the Green Party of the United States

~ END ~


At Thu Jul 02, 10:29:00 PM CDT, Blogger Allan said...

Good to hear about the Green Party support. We all need to call our congressional representatives and voice an urgent appeal for the release of all prisoners and condemn the action by Israel.

Allan Hancock, Chair of the 3rd Congressional District Green Party Local

At Fri Jul 03, 01:10:00 PM CDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Humanity's voyagers were warned to not proceed. We understand that being taken into custody by the Israeli government was not a surprise, but works as a public relations campaign drawing attention to a tragic situation. However, applying terms like "kidnap" is unnecessary and unproductive in the arenas in the mainstream, which is the place where sentiments must be most moved.

The Green Party would be better served by reporting accurately and fully on this event.

Amnesty Int'l called on both Israel and Hamas as committing international war crimes, and the Green Party has not said a thing about Hamas.

At Fri Jul 03, 02:59:00 PM CDT, Blogger Tom Cleland said...

The Israeli pirates kidnapped McKinney in international waters. Cynthia McKinney is to Israel as Roxana Saberi is to Iran. There's no doubt we want publicity, but what could be more morally justified than humanitarian aid? I'm glad that at least Mike Malloy is covering this story on Air America.

At Tue Jul 07, 03:38:00 PM CDT, Blogger Tom Cleland said...

McKinney and the others have been released. They should be allowed to deliver aid at any time in the future.


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