Flotilla Passengers Prisoners

31 May 2010

Adalah, PCATI and PHR-I Submit an Extraordinary Petition for Habeas Corpus and Demand for Information on Gaza Freedom Flotilla Passengers to the Israeli Supreme Court

(Haifa, Israel) Tonight, 31 May 2010, Adalah, the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PCATI) and Physicians for Human Rights-Israel (PHR-I) submitted an extraordinary petition for habeas corpus and request for an urgent hearing to the Supreme Court of Israel. The human rights organizations demanded that the state provide the names of people who were killed and injured on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla by the Israeli navy; the names and locations of those detained, as well as their condition; the legal status of the passengers on the ships; and access to those arrested, detained or in hospital without the restrictive pre-condition of requiring powers of attorney.

The habeas corpus petition was filed by Adalah Attorney Orna Kohn against the Minister of Defense, the Military Advocate General (MAG), the Israel Prison Service (IPS), the Israeli Police, and the Immigration Authority.

This morning, the Israeli military took control over the Freedom Flotilla, a humanitarian aid convoy, while it was in international waters en route to Gaza. Around 700 people from 40 countries are on the ships including human rights and peace activists, journalists, and members of parliament. According to media reports, about 15 people were killed and dozens were injured. Following Israel’s military control over the boats, the petitioners had no way to contact the passengers either by internet or telephone. Some of the injured were taken to hospitals in Israel, and others were taken from the hospitals to detention centers.

The organizers of the Freedom Flotilla asked for legal representation from Adalah in cases of arrests and detentions. Passengers’ families have also contacted Adalah, PCATI and PHR-I and have asked for legal assistance as well as information on the health and well-being of their relatives who are passengers on the boats. Many lawyers and doctors have also contacted the petitioners to lend their support and services, after hearing the media reports on the killings and injuries.

The human rights organizations contacted the Military Advocate General’s Office (MAG), the Attorney General’s Office, and the IPS seeking the names of those detained or hospitalized, the places of detention and/or hospitalization, and the status of these individuals so that the petitioners could meet them and offer legal representation or medical services.

The petitioners received no information concerning the individuals who were killed or injured. Regarding the detainees, the AG’s Office informed the petitioners, in general, that those individuals who were given deportation orders were taken to detention centers in Beer el-Sabe (Beer Sheva). The AG’s office also stated that attorneys could contact a center in the Ashdod Port and give them the powers of attorney for each individual. This reply is not responsive to the information sought by the petitioners, and it also places too restrictive of a condition for legal representation on the detainees in this situation.

The refusal to provide this information violates the right of the detainees to consult with attorneys, a right guaranteed by numerous decisions of the Israeli Supreme Court. It also violates the state’s legal duty to provide information on the location of a detainee as provided in Article 33 of the Criminal Procedure Law (Powers of Arrest) – 1996, and the individuals’ right to dignity, which is a constitutional right.

3 comments to Flotilla Passengers Prisoners

  • Justice must be granted immediately and all the criminals who perpetrated this crime brought to heal before a court of law.


  • Jurgen

    They should never been detained in the first place. The Israeli pirates forced them on the open sea to enter Israeli territory. So the pirates are fully responsible and the detained people should immediately returned to their countries, The pirates should be arrested and judged by an international court of law. Their possible excuse that they acted under orders does not apply anymore since the Nuremberg trials. They IDF people involved should face long prison sentences for acts of piracy in the open sea.

  • Reeper

    I completely agree with Jurgen, Israel should not be allowed to get a way with this crap. It is piracy and nothing more, if the governments of the world do nothing about this then they are no better then any other pirates who kill for personal gain. Why is it that there are no rules to stop such things from happening? Wait a minute there are they just clearly do not apply to all. At least not to the Israelis it seems. Oh but why am i not surprised. Because Israel is run by the Rothschild’s and they have got away with murder on many occasions. This instance being the most blatantly obvious to be against maritime law and the civil rights of the people involved. Would Israel allow one of their ships to be boarded in International waters? NO Would any other nation for that matter? NO Why because it is either an act of piracy or of war. It is simply up to the so called “free nations” of the world to make that distinction and do something about it. Or suffer the wrath of people rioting due to the inaction of our governments to stop this type of thing from happening. Who are the terrorists now? Would you fight for home land against a people who are determined to take it from you? The Americans fought a war because they wanted to be free. Free to do what? Free to help others impose their laws and ideals? Does that not go against what their fore fathers fought to stop? I think it does, another sign that people today have no respect for their elders and the sacrifices that were made by them and their ancestors. I hope America is the first nation to fall and then they can begin all over again trying to gain their freedom from tyranny and perhaps they will no longer take for granted the blood that has been spilled for them. One day the world may be at peace but i fear that is a long time ahead. The children of tomorrow will have to pay for our mistakes and hesitation to take action against those who rule with money and power not with the blessings of those who entrust them with the future of our planet. May history never forget that when mistakes are made over and over again it is not because people do not learn from them it is because there are people who want them to happen again for their own benefits.

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