16 July 2011
For Immediate Release
Contact on Dignite:
00870 7764 16715 or 0046 707 229 165
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French boat Dignité of the Freedom Flotilla II leaves Greece
The French boat “Dignité/Karama” (Dignity) left the Greek island Kastellorizo around 8:30PM local time on Saturday July 16, 2011, heading south. The ten passengers onboard view themselves as representatives of the whole Freedom Flotilla II – Stay Human. The rest of the Flotilla’s ships have been detained in different Greek ports, through bureaucratic obstruction, sabotage, sudden restrictions and withdrawals of flags.
The Dignité, sailing under a French flag, left Corsica on June 25th, and has, over the past weeks, been in Greek waters. It has now left– so far without being followed by the Greek coast guard or Navy.
Among the delegates on board is Jacqueline Le Corre, member of the French Communist Party, Jean Claude Lefort, former French Member of the European Parliament, as well as representatives of the Canadian, French, Greek and Swedish initiatives within Freedom Flotilla II. Onboard the Dignité are also renowned Israeli journalist Amira Hass, reporting for Haaretz, and a team from Al-Jazeera TV. (Full list of passengers below).
Kastellorizo, in the far east of the Greek archipelago, is only miles from Turkish mainland. A substantial part of Kastellorizo’s population fled during the Second World War to Gaza, where they stayed for years. The present mayor of the island, Paul Panigiris, was born in Gaza, and feels strongly, as do many other people from Kastellorizo, for a population that once hosted them and is now under siege.
The action of Dignité is not a mini-version of Freedom Flotilla 2, but a first wave that will be followed by others. It is a message to the Israeli government, to the international community and to the besieged people of Gaza: The Free Gaza Movement and the coalition of Freedom Flotilla II are not giving up, until the inhumane and illegitimate blockade of Gaza is lifted.
Gaza, we are coming!
Passengers on the Dignité
Stéphan Corriveau, Coordinator of Canadian boat to Gaza
Dror Feiler, spokesperson of Ship to Gaza-Sweden, President of the European Jews for a Just Peace, artist, musician, composer
Jérôme Gleizes, France, Europe Ecologie Les Verts
Jacqueline Le Corre, France, Médecin-Collectif 14 de soutien au peuple palestinien, member of Parti communiste francais
Jean Claude Lefort, former MEP, French Communist Party –PCF
Claude Léostic, spokesperson of Un bateau français pour Gaza
Yamin Makri, France, Collectif 69 de soutien au peuple palestinien
Omeyya Naoufel Seddik, Tunisian, Fédération des Tunisiens pour une citoyenneté des deux rives (FTCR), and Ligue tunisienne des Droits de l'Homme (LTDH), Phd in Political Science
Thomas Sommer-Houdeville, spokesperson of Un bateau français pour Gaza, Researcher, Political Sciecnce, Middle East Studies, at the Institut francais du proche Orient
Vangelis Pissias, spokesperson of Ship to Gaza-Greece, Professor at Technical University of Athens
Amira Hass, Israeli journalist - Haaretz
Ayyache Derradji, Journalist from Al Jazeera
Stéphane Guida, Cameraman from Al Jazeera
Hilaire Folacci, Mariner
Yannick Voisin, Captain
Jo Leguen, Navigator