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UPDATE: Gaza Road to Hope Convoy Members Arrested in GreeceTim King Salem-News.com
The captain of the Strofades IV however, may be charged.
(SALEM, Ore.) - UPDATE: This story describes an improving situation for 10 peace activists and seven Libyan government officials who were taken captive by a Greek sea captain operating a ship that broke moorings at Derna Port in Libya- with only one vehicle partly loaded. The activists are part of the Road to Hope Convoy from London to Gaza.
They had been refused entry at Egypt and were preparing to load the convoy on the Strofades IV for tranfor to Al Arish, where they would be driven the final distance to Gaza.
I leaving the original story in place, but it is a constantly changing saga, and it has taken a turn for the worse.
Ken O'Keefe who also writes for Salem-News.com, and nine other activists, as well as the 7 Libyan officials aboard the ship, are apparently in jail. Dave Evans in Washington, who worked with Salem-News.com during a recent NW Int. Speaking Tour with Ken, contacted me shortly after this story was published to advise that the group was being arrested by officials in Greece.
"Tox is handcuffs, off to jail we go" Ken O'Keefe of the Road to Hope convoy said, adding: "Charity Workers being JAILED NOW in Greece. Something is not right with Greece and it's legal system."
We will bring you more information as it becomes available.
To learn how to contact the Greek embassy, visit this link: hellas-guide.com
Writer Lauren Booth has received contact from the Road to Hope Convoy members and the news may be looking up. Booth said, "The convoy members who were abducted then detained in Greece have been released following examination of video footage. The captain has been arrested."
Ken O'Keefe later stated: "The Foreign Minister of Libya has approved to have our passports sent to Greece so we can fly back to Libya and the convoy. This is the only thing holding us."
The group is according to O'Keefe, is free and not facing charges.
Anna O'Leary has been monitoring the situation from Ireland, she stated, "There are evil forces at work. The charity workers are committed to Gaza and the delivery of desperately needed Humanitarian aid. Israel, the occupation force of Palestine, must answer for much evil, media manipulation...even REUTERS took Shylock's gold."
A simple overland mission to deliver aid to the people of Gaza has been anything but simple so far. The Road to Hope Convoy received favorable treatment in several countries along the way, including Libya, but Egypt refused to allow the convoy to drive overland to the Rafah border checkpoint at Gaza, which meant they had to go by sea.
When a ship and captain were finally located, everything looked favorable, but then an argument broke out between the captain and Libyan officials, and the ship, Strofades IV, broke moorings at Derna Port after lifting the cargo ramp to a halfway closed position with a vehicle in the process of being loaded, perched precariously at the top. Ship Capt. Volchenyuk Vyacheslav headed to sea, eventually arriving in Greece, with the ramp at a 45 degree angle the whole way.
The activists, whose passports were in Libya, were held captive, eventually placed in a small smoking room where they were provided almost no food or water.
It appears likely that the Captain of the ship will be charged. Greek police conducted interviews and gathered evidence. Both Irish nationals have been issued with new passorts by the Irish embassy and are free to go. The British have been given a slip of paper by their embassy which will allow them to enter Greece but only to return to the UK.
In the most recent video report posted by activist and Salem-News.com writer Ken O'Keefe, who was one of the 17 people taken out of Derna Port against their will, we learn the details of their experience.
O'Keefe explains to Hassan Ghani the circumstances in which convoy members have been dragged to Greece by the captain of a cargo ship. The ship was due to transfer the convoy to Al Arish. Press TV in London noted that this interview is unedited, however the line was disconnected towards the end and they were unable to re-establish contact.
Previous reports on the Road to Hope Convoy:
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