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Apr-24-2011 02:41TweetFollow @OregonNews
STAY HUMAN, Statement on Vittorio ArrigoniSalem-News.com
Statement from US Boat to Gaza.
(WASHINGTON D.C.) - On April 14, Vittorio Arrigoni, an Italian journalist and human rights activist who was working with the International Solidarity Movement in Gaza, was murdered.
He was aboard the 2008 Free Gaza Movement vessel and was imprisoned in Israel several times.
He was in Gaza throughout “Operation Cast Lead”, helping medics and reporting what was happening. Arrigoni wrote for the Italian newspaper Il Manifesto and for Peace Reporter and in 2010 he wrote Gaza Stay Human, a book based on what he witnessed and survived during Operation Cast Lead.
In response to this horrific event, the International Freedom Flotilla has issued this statement:
STAY HUMAN April 15, 2011 (London)
The murder of human rights activist, Vittorio Arrigoni, is a tragedy for his family, for those of us who knew him, and for the Palestinians who loved and admired him. The Steering Committee of Freedom Flotilla 2 condemns this senseless murder and the people who are behind it. They took the life of one of the most passionate supporters of justice for Palestine. This murder is damaging to the Palestinian struggle for freedom and justice as well as our work in support of that struggle.
In his honor, we are naming our next voyage, FREEDOM FLOTILLA – STAY HUMAN.
Nothing that we write can capture the man who was so full of the joy of life, a man with the pipe in his mouth and the captain’s hat always tilted at an angle on his head. The man with the big smile and gentle nature, someone who used his physical strength to hold small children in his arms, sometimes several at a time. His laughter and his last comments every time we saw him will ring in all of our ears as we board the boats to return to Gaza at the end of May.
“Stay Human,” he would say, then grin and clench his pipe in his teeth.
Vittorio had sailed with us on the first small boat to enter Gaza in the summer of 2008, one of 44 activists sailing to protest the illegal blockade imposed by Israel against the 1.5 million Palestinians living in Gaza. We will do our best, Vik, to carry on the work you have done. The flotilla will return to Gaza in your honor.
Story and pre-production by Tim King, Video post-production by Sean King.