'Flotilla passengers were tortured'

IHH releases version of events, claims abuse, maltreatment.

By JPOST.COM STAFF
July 1, 2010 12:58
2 minute read.
Flotilla activist weilding knife

Flotilla activist weilding knife 311. (photo credit: Courtesy)

The organization which sent the Gaza aid flotilla which was intercepted by the IDF earlier this month, released a report Thursday outlining the events of the raid.

Describing the goal of the aid flotilla as "completely civilian in nature" and "carrying the conscience of the world," the report categorized the IDF interception as a terrorist attack carried out by the Israeli government in "international waters against civilians who had come together for peaceful purposes."

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Further claims included torture by Israeli authorities once the passengers were taken into custody and brought into the Ashdod port. "The participants received physical blows and were subjected to psychological torture," the report alleged.

The report continued to explain that the IDF soldiers used machine guns to fire at the Mavi Marmara before boarding, as three different types of shots were heard by the passengers.  The soldiers who rappelled from the helicopters onto the ship, shot into the crowd as they descended using real bullets, according to the IHH. 

IHH described that the raid developed in a hostile manner with the objective to kill, and considered the initial fired shots by the IDF not as warnings, but as shots that were meant to kill unarmed civilians on the ship. The passengers that were killed by shots to the head, who according to the report were unarmed, further proves the objective of the IDF, claimed IHH.

The three IDF soldiers taken below deck by passengers who were allegedly trying to protect themselves from the soldiers, were being taken to the ship's doctors to be treated, explains the report.

The report accused the IDF of several crimes, including the obstruction of communication and severing of communications, illegal questioning and arrest, confiscation of passports, the seizure of ships, humanitarian aid and personal items, and physical and psychological torture, maltreatment and physical abuse by Israeli authorities.

Numerous passengers were quoted in the report, expressing their side of the events while being on the ship. In addition, the report included various photographs of the raid, including photos of Israeli soldiers and injured passengers. The names of the dead and injured passengers were also listed in the report. 

The 42-page report included computer generated graphics of the Israeli naval operation including coordinates along with a chronology of events of the raid. 


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