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FreeGaza Movement

Human rights group that sailed 5 times into port of Gaza.

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August 20, 2008

In USA:           Karin Pally                                001  310 399 1921
In UK:            The Free Gaza Movement:           +44    78 1804 0982
                       Palestinian Solidarity Campaign:  +44    20 7700 6313       
On the Boat:   Paul Larudee:          +306 -981 234829      (
                       Osama Qashoo                       +44   78 3338 1660
 In Cyprus:     Ramzi Kysia:           +357 -990  81767         (
 In Israel:       Angela Godfrey-Goldstein:+972 -547 366393 ( )

Free Gaza Movement spokesperson Osama Qashoo confirmed Monday that he and other members of the Free Gaza Movement’s nonviolent, human rights convoy sailing towards Gaza have received death threats. The international group is on its way to Gaza via sea with the intention of ending the Israeli imposed siege of the 1.5 million inhabitants of the Gaza Strip. 
 “We want to make sure the world no longer turns a blind eye to Israel’s human rights abuses on innocent Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. If the world chooses to turn away and say it doesn’t see, we’re going to make sure they do,” says Musheir El Farra, of Sheffield, UK who is also with the group of activists.
Qashoo reports that he has personally received seventeen hostile calls to his mobile phone over the past two weeks.  In addition, his thirteen-year-old sister, who lives in the occupied West Bank, has received similar calls.  Despite this intimidation, Osama, along with others in the movement who have received threats, remains committed to exposing the inhumanity of the Israeli siege.   
Lauren Booth, sister-in-law of former Prime Minister Tony Blair, travels on the boat headed for Gaza as well. Her husband, who is in France with their two children, has received similar phone threats from a man indicating that the ship would be blown up.          
The mothers, fathers, grandparents, sisters, and brothers who make up the Free Gaza Movement sailing crew as well as those who have endorsed and supported their mission are committed to nonviolent resistance in issuing their legal challenge for the rights of Gaza’s inhabitants.
The siege of Gaza has been in place since 2006, and is a form of collective punishment, which was outlawed by article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention. The inhabitants of Gaza have been denied basic human rights, including being prevented from taking up educational opportunities abroad and receiving needed medical treatment outside the Gaza Strip.
These restrictions are in breach of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) signed by Israel. The UDHR, in addition to other rights, preserves every persons’ right to freedom of movement, work and education. (See recent Human Rights Reports relating to the current conditions in Gaza. [1])   
<p>1) “The Gaza Strip: A Humanitarian Implosion,” A joint report by Amnesty International, CAFOD, CARE, Christian Aid, Medicins du Monde UK, OXFAM, Save the ChildrenUK, and TRoCAIRE, Executive Summary, March 2008.</p><p></p>