Mavi Marmara’s March for Freedom Continues

1 Jun


Four years have passed since Israel’s deadly attack on the international peace flotilla that resulted in the murders of 9 humanitarian volunteers and dozens more injured. A tenth victim died recently after being in a coma since the attack. [See recent report on the death of Ugur Soylemez, 26 May 2014. Ed]

IHH Special to, Istanbul, Turkey

It has been 4 years since the Gaza Freedom Flotilla, with over 700 volunteers from 37 different countries, was attacked by the Israeli armed forces in international waters on its way to break the illegal blockade on Gaza and to deliver humanitarian aid.

During this attack nine humanitarian aid volunteers were killed and dozens of others injured on board the Mavi Marmara vessel. Last week, one of these injured, Ugur Suleyman Soylemez, who had been in a coma since the attack, also lost his life raising the death toll from nine to ten and refreshing the painful memories of the attack.

The legal actions, which were started by the victims very soon after the attack in a number of different countries around the world, are today showing their results. Last week, during the sixth session of the Mavi Marmara trial in Istanbul, the court issued an arrest warrant with a red notice to INTERPOL for the four defendants in the case.

In addition to the domestic actions, a State referral was made to the International Criminal Court (ICC) by the Comoros, which was the flag state of the Mavi Marmara. Immediately after this referral the Prosecutor of this Court started a preliminary investigation into the attack and will decide whether or not to start a full investigation.

The ruling of the Turkish Court and the ICC procedure have the potential to be a historical ruling and opportunity for the international community to at last take action against Israel’s broad and continuing violations of international law.

The humanitarian crisis existing in Gaza was the main reason the Freedom Flotilla set sail in 2010. Four years later the significance of the Flotilla is still very clear, as the humanitarian situation in Gaza continues to worsen.

Numerous United Nations and NGO’s have reported the exacerbation of the crisis in Gaza, which is the result of the unlawful blockade imposed by Israel, which has prevents the population of Gaza to live a dignified life.

Israel also continues its aggression on the other territories of Palestine, making life as difficult as possible for the entire population of the Palestinian people. Every day Palestinians are indiscriminately killed, children are arrested, homes demolished for new settlements and the list continues.

Israel must understand that like every other state or nation, it is subject to the rule of law. For this reason we, the Freedom Flotilla coalition, call upon the international community to break the silence against Israel’s violations of international law and bring the criminals to justice.

In our fight against impunity around the world, this recent ruling by the Turkish court and the ICC procedure are a starting point and an opportunity we have to take as the collective conscience of humanity.

Source: Press release issued by IHH Humanitarian Relief Foundation on the 4th anniversary of the Mavi Marmara attack.

Music video for “Song for Mavi Marmara” by David Rovics, video produced by Bonnie King (
The Mavi Marmara was the lead ship in the Freedom Flotilla, headed for Gaza on May 31, 2010. 60 miles off the coast, in International waters, the Israeli Navy illegally boarded six ships of the “Gaza Freedom Flotilla”, and killed nine humanitarians. They took every person on board into custody.
The 9 martyrs have only strengthened the resolve of others to end the blockade of Gaza, and end the occupation of 1.7 million Palestinians. Oppression shall end.

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