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Nov-13-2010 15:25printcomments

UPDATE: Gaza Road to Hope Convoy Members Arrested in Greece

The captain of the Strofades IV however, may be charged.

Strofades IV
Dramatic scene just before the Strofades IV broke her moorings and headed out to sea with the loading ramp half open.

(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

_______Original Story_______

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:

Nov-12-2010: DRAMATIC VIDEO Gaza Activists Taken to Sea Against Their Will Now Held at Gunpoint in Greece - Tim King Salem-News.com

Nov-11-2010: Kidnapped Aid Workers Speak of Continuing Ordeal Aboard Absconding Greek Ship - Salem-News.com

Nov-11-2010: British Aid Workers Held on Ship in Libyan Sea - Salem-News.com

Nov-10-2010: 10 Aid Workers Held Hostage on Greek Owned Ship - Salem-News.com

Nov-10-2010: Greek Ship Captain Threatens to Leave the Gaza Road to Hope Convoy - Bonnie King Salem-News.com

Nov-07-2010: Road to Hope Convoys Remain Stalled but Determined to Reach Gaza - Tim King Salem-News.com

Nov-03-2010: In Limbo in Libya: Gaza Road to Hope Convoy Urges Contact with Egyptian Embassies - Tim King Salem-News.com

Nov-01-2010: Road to Hope (R2H) Convoy in Positive Dialogue with Egyptian Officials - Salem-News.com

Oct-30-2010: Road to Hope Convoy Stalled at Egyptian Border - Salem-News.com

Oct-29-2010: Egypt Working with Road to Hope Convoy: Group Still Enroute to Gaza - Tim King Salem-News.com

Oct-26-2010: Road to Hope Convoy with Ken O'Keefe Approaching Gaza - Tim King Salem-News.com

Tim King: Salem-News.com Editor and Writer

Tim King is a former U.S. Marine with twenty years of experience on the west coast as a television news producer, photojournalist, reporter and assignment editor. In addition to his role as a war correspondent, this Los Angeles native serves as Salem-News.com's Executive News Editor. Tim spent the winter of 2006/07 covering the war in Afghanistan, and he was in Iraq over the summer of 2008, reporting from the war while embedded with both the U.S. Army and the Marines.

Tim holds numerous awards for reporting, photography, writing and editing, including the Oregon AP Award for Spot News Photographer of the Year (2004), first place Electronic Media Award in Spot News, Las Vegas, (1998), Oregon AP Cooperation Award (1991); and several others including the 2005 Red Cross Good Neighborhood Award for reporting. Tim has several years of experience in network affiliate news TV stations, having worked as a reporter and photographer at NBC, ABC and FOX stations in Arizona, Nevada and Oregon. Serving the community in very real terms, Salem-News.com is the nation's only truly independent high traffic news Website. As News Editor, Tim among other things, is responsible for publishing the original content of 65 Salem-News.com writers. He reminds viewers that emails are easily missed and urges those trying to reach him, to please send a second email if the first goes unanswered. You can send Tim an email at this address: newsroom@salem-news.com




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Ben November 24, 2010 3:10 pm (Pacific time)

This was a heart-warming story! No one got killed, nothing your friends did made the world a better place, the mental pulse of a captain for one of these op-ed seepings was in tune with his passengers, and free conspiracy theories too. Thanks for the comedy; in these harsh days of potentially being felt up at airports and North Korea being eager to start WWIII, it was nice to have a laugh. Between you and SNL, I'll take you; you guys aren't trying so damn hard. Happy Thanksgiving!

Editor: Glad you can get a 'kick' out of it, now go to Israel and take their nuke warheads down, will you?


Sadie November 14, 2010 7:30 pm (Pacific time)

One does not build settlements in their own country - it's called housing for those very same immigrants and their offspring, who were indeed, cast out of arab language cultures.

Editor: No, this is about religious fundamentalism; it is about religious extremism, like it or not.  There is plenty of land in Israel; the 'settlements' are continually built to rob what is left of Palestine.  Incidentally, you will never help peace until these are stopped.


George November 14, 2010 6:49 am (Pacific time)

I'm gonna pray a bit more tonight


Jim D. November 13, 2010 10:41 pm (Pacific time)

@Outraged- I wish you'd find half as much outrage for the brutal way Israel treats its Palestinian captives as you find for a little bit of namecalling on the internet.


Amanda November 13, 2010 8:30 pm (Pacific time)

commenting on "Outraged" why are you blaming the media for reporting on the Zionist's atrocities against the Palestinian population? Israel seems to have lost the respect of the world (with a couple of exeptions) But then, when where they ever accepted???? It is a disgrace to bring up the new generation of jews, to continue the hate of their ancestors.


OUTRAGED November 13, 2010 4:30 pm (Pacific time)

I am absolutely disgusted with you for publishing those quotes.

Just look at this: "even REUTERS took Shylock's gold"

What a disgrace that you publish such anti-semitic quotes.

Have you even bothered to follow what this woman has been saying? She says "there can only be peace when the Jews leave". On Ken's wall she said "it's Jew money" that pays the media.

You guys should be ashamed of yourselves. Even the most basic journalist would've removed such comments.

Editor: So what should we do, are her statements not correct?  I personally stick to the term 'Zionism' for the most part, but Israel is 'the Jewish state' in standard western media reference for as long as I can remember.  I am disgusted and outraged at what Israel is increasingly doing as a world citizen.  The people doing it by and large are not Holocaust survivors; they are facilitators of genocide against the people who historically owned the land that now comprises 'Israel'.  'Disgusting' describes 'Operation Cast Lead' because this is the here and now; not WWII history.  By the way, it was Americans who joined in that war and helped seriously crush the Nazi's.  We abhor Nazi's and racists and all are included, and that means anyone who supports, I hate to say it, but even the concept of Israel as it exists now.  The land is stolen, it needs to be given back.  Israeli officials by the hundred need to stand for war crimes, just as Justice Richard Goldstone inferred in the UN Goldstone Report, and please remember that he is Jewish.  And so by the way, are a whole lot of my friends, only they aren't Zionist whacko religious zealots who believe that "God gave them" this place that is properly known as Palestine.  Of course Israel has extraordinary military power, no denial there.  But that is why the borders are where they are, from pure violence, and it is terrible.  Why didn't the Jewish immigrants just build new cities?  Why does Israel continually build new colonies ('settlements') on rhe tiny amount of remaining Palestinian land?  All the Palestinians want is peace, and what is theirs.  They will never stop and their supporters are growing, while Israel's are fleeting.  I am sorry if those words offended you, we are all in an offensive period of time.  Anti-Semitic by the way, means being against people who evolve from Arab language cultures.  We ran a whole series on it.  It does not define 'honest news reporters whose work criticizes Israeli politics'- that is what we are guilty of, not what you suggest.

  I sincerely appreciate the efforts of our writers in Arizona, London, Washington D.C. and Osaka, Japan in taking on this important subject for our readers.
Here are the articles in the series: 

ZIONISM UNMASKED: End of Zionism = Peace - Jeff Gates Salem-News.com 

ZIONISM UNMASKED: A Fairy Tale That's Become a Terrifying Nightmare - Alan Hart Salem-News.com 

ZIONISM UNMASKED: Chutzpah, thy name is Zionism - Maidhc Ó Cathail Salem-News.com 

ZIONISM UNMASKED: 'Anti-Semitic' - the Label that Stops Criticism - Dr. Paul Balles for Salem-News.com


 


Josh Akers November 13, 2010 4:15 pm (Pacific time)

You can't stop compassion forever... You will always lose the war. You can win a few battles but you can't win the war against the truth. Keep your faith in that fact, all my friends. Once again Salem-News.com reports some of the most interesting things in the world and other organizations don't even mention it. If I had a lot of money... I'd give it to you guys! (I'm supporting my mother and sister with bills, sleeping on their couch, though...)

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