Greece to probe mistreatment claims after Israel raid


 ATHENS, Jun 04, 2010 (AFP) – Greece said on Friday it would investigate claims that several of its nationals were mistreated after being detained in a deadly Israeli raid on a flotilla aiming to break the Gaza embargo.

“There are Greeks who claim they were mistreated. The foreign ministry’s crisis management unit will contact all Greek citizens who were part of the mission to track these claims (and track) lost items,” foreign ministry spokesman Grigoris Delavekouras told reporters.

“We want an independent investigation to bring everything to light… to produce findings we can trust. So that it becomes clear what happened and who is responsible,” Delavekouras said.

“The international community wants a substantial and in-depth investigation,” he added.

The last of a group of 37 Greeks who joined the aid flotilla arrived in Athens early on Thursday aboard a Greek military transport plane.

On Friday, some of them gave a harrowing account of beatings whilst in Israeli custody at the port of Ashdod.

// “They had made a prefabricated installation where an interrogation of sorts was carried out,” one of the activists, Vangelis Pissias, told the semi-state Athens News Agency.

They used force to take our fingerprints and pictures,” added Khaled Kabani, a Palestinian-born doctor who holds Greek citizenship. “They were supposed to be giving us a medical inspection, but the doctors used this to create additional damage,” he said.

Kabani charged that he was pushed to the ground and struck on the head after insulting one of his captors. One of his fingers was broken in the process, he said.

Pisias said he was handcuffed and beaten when he refused to give his fingerprints.

“They threw me to the ground, handcuffed me and started jumping on me. It could have been up to 15 people. The toughest part was when they put me face down and stomped on me. I have a blood pressure problem so I’m lucky to be alive,” he said.

Several protests have been held in Athens and the main northern city of Thessaloniki over the Israeli commando raid early Monday in international waters against the activist flotilla, which left nine dead and dozens wounded.

jph/dk AFP

UPDATES ON RACHEL CORRIE: Israeli navy seizes ‘Rachel Corrie’ close to Gaza shore (13:05)

from www.irishtimes.com

Israeli forces have seized Irish-owned vessel the MV Rachel Corrie  close to the Gaza shore, a military spokeswoman has confirmed.

 “The ship has been boarded and there was full compliance from the crew and passengers on board,” the spokeswoman said.

The humanitarian vessel is now being escorted to the Israeli port of Ashdod. It had been shadowed by Israeli ships since dawn.

Former UN assistant secretary general Denis Halliday and Nobel peace laureate Mairéad Maguire are among the Irish citizens on board the 1,200-tonne ship.

Earlier this morning, activists aboard the vessel said its equipment on board had been jammed, blaming the Israeli Defence Force (IDF).

from Greek ANT1 TV

The activists have surrended, no one was injured.

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