Tuesday, June 1, 2010

So what did the passengers experience on Freedom Flotilla?

It is important to note what the passengers experienced and are recounting about the Israeli commando action on one of their ships with 500 people on board.

If you don't know what I'm talking about, read here, and here.

Now, the Israeli point of view is that they were "attacked" with knives, sticks, axes and pistols. They "couldn't help but respond." They responded - not really in kind - and managed to finish off around 10 people. 50 passengers are now deported to their countries, since they left voluntarily. The rest of the survivors (hundreds) are now being held by Israel, because they "refuse to cooperate" ...  These are the recounts told by passengers about what happened to them that night.

Mihalis Grigoropoulos, Greece
"I was steering the ship, we saw them [Israeli soldiers] capture another ship in front of us, which was the Turkish passenger vessel with more than 500 people on board and heard shots fired.  "We did not resist at all, we couldn't even if we had wanted to. What could we have done against the commandos who climbed aboard?"  "The only thing some people tried was to delay them from getting to the bridge, forming a human shield. They were fired upon with plastic bullets and were stunned with electric devices.  "There was great mistreatment after our arrest. We were essentially hostages, like animals on the ground. "They wouldn't let us use the bathroom, wouldn't give us food or water and they took video of us despite international conventions banning this."

Mutlu Tiryaki, Turkey
"When we went up to the deck, they emerged from helicopters and military boats and attacked us.

"They approached our vessel with military ships after issuing a warning. We told them we were unarmed. Our sole weapon was water."

Bayram Kalyon, Turkey
"The captain of the vessel Mavi Marmara told us, "They are firing randomly, they are breaking the windows and entering inside. So you should get out of here as soon as possible.
That was our last conversation with him."

"There was a massacre on board," said the woman, Nilufer Cetin, whose husband, Ekrem, is the Marmara's engineer and was still in Israeli custody. "The ship turned into a lake of blood."
Norman Paech, a former member of Germany's Left Party who was aboard the Marmara, said he only saw three activists resisting.
"They had no knives, no axes, only sticks that they used to defend themselves," Paech said at a news conference in Berlin after he and four other Germans returned from Tel Aviv. He added, however, that he could "not rule out" that others used weapons somewhere else on the boat.


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