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article imageCanadian activists facing jail time in Israel without trial

By KJ Mullins     Nov 9, 2011 in World
On Tuesday Freedom Waves activists detained by Israel were told by a judge that they could be held in prison for 2 months, without charges or a trial.
The judge told the 18 journalists and activists being held which include Canadians David Heap and Ehab Lotayef to sign a statement that states that the members entered Israel 'voluntarily' and 'illegally.'
Those in custody have a problem with this considering that they were brought to Israeli soil after being 'kidnapped' by the Israeli Navy while on their Canadian boat Tahrir on international waters. The boat was on route to Gaza.
Prior to the takeover by the Navy the Israeli government had shut down all communications on the boats, one from Canada and one from Ireland. The passengers agreed to be passive if the Navy would board their boats. The commandos boarded the Canadian boat very aggressively. They separated the men and women. David Heap was tazered by the commandos at this time because he wasn't moving fast enough.
Some of those like Canadian Karen DeVito, who were captured by Israel have been deported. The others have spent the past five days in prison.
According to detained American journalist Jihan Hafiz phone calls home from their detention were heavily censored. The detainees were told they were not to speak about anything negative or political during those calls.
"There were three warships [...] four Zodiacs, four water cannon boats, as well as four regular gunboats. All of the commandos on all of these boats were heavily armed. It looked like they were taking on an army of a foreign country."
Hafiz added: "Two water cannons started to pour lots of water into the Irish boat, which flooded it, blew their sockets, and cut off all the electricity. And so, at that point, the Irish delegates I spoke to said they told the Israeli army, 'We're taking on water. We're sinking. We're going to go down at sea if you continue with the water.'"
Passengers were roughed up, filmed nude and dealt with guns being pointed at their heads according to the American journalist who spent three nights in detention. She said that the journalists' equipment was seized.
Hafiz said that she had to hide her camera's clips during the invasion by Israeli commandos instead of filming.
More about Israel, Canadian activists, Waves to Freedom
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