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The Canadian Boat to Gaza (CBG), the Tahrir, to set sail today as part of Freedom Flotilla II
UPDATE 11:25 EDT: Canadian Boat left port then followed and controlled by Greek coast guard - being forced back to shore
July 4, 2011
Agios Nikolaos, Greece - With the support of Greek civil society and people from all around the world the Tahrir is casting off from Greece today.
"The Tahrir is leaving port in Crete, and we are breaking through Israel's Gaza blockade which now extends to Greek ports," said David Heap from aboard the Tahrir. "Israel's expansion of the Gaza blockade to Greece is just the latest example of how the blockade of Gaza is about attacking freedom, not increasing security."
Article 13.2 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that "Everyone has the right to leave any country". Preventing flotilla ships from leaving Greek ports is a clear violation of this human right.
"Greece has no right to detain foreign-flagged ships in its ports other than for purposes of assuring seaworthiness via timely inspection. And they cannot interfere with 'innocent passage' through their territorial waters, and this passage is definitely innocent," said Richard Falk, American professor of international law and an appointee to two United Nations positions on the Palestinian territories.
"Greece's position is disturbing but this should not divert our attention from Israel and its illegal and inhumane blockade of Gaza. Israel is the source of the problem and it will be held accountable by the international community -- sooner or later," said Sandra Ruch, from the Tahrir steering committee.
Support actions have been and continue to be held at Greek consulates all over Canada (as well as in cities all over the world) calling on the Greek government to end its support of the Israeli blockade of Gaza and immediately lift the blockade it is imposing on the Flotilla boats from Greece's ports.
The Canadian Boat to Gaza has sent letter to all Greek MPs asking them to let the flotilla boats go:
Contacts in Greece:
David Heap: +30 (697) 837 9887
Dylan Penner: +30 (699) 663 6796
Sandra Ruch: +30 (698) 030 1711
Contacts in Canada:
Ehab Lotayef: 514.941.9792 - firstname.lastname@example.org
Wendy Goldsmith: 519.858.2442 - email@example.com
For more information contact:
Phone: +30 (697) 837 9887
Phone: +30 (699) 663 6796
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