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Green Party: Obama, State Dept. must demand release of Cynthia McKinney & other Free Gaza relief boat activists seized by Israeli gunboats

Green Party: President Obama and the US State Dept. must demand release of Cynthia McKinney and 20 other human rights activists on Free Gaza relief boat seized by Israeli gunboats

• The Free Gaza’s ‘Spirit of Humanity’ was delivering medical and other supplies following Obama’s call for relief to wartorn Gaza; the boat was in international waters

Green Party leaders are calling on the White House and US State Department to intervene and demand the immediate release of 21 human rights activists, including former US Rep. [and Green Party Presidential candidate] Cynthia McKinney and Nobel laureate Mairead Maguire, who were taken prisoner by the Israeli navy after gunboats surrounded and seized the Free Gaza Movement relief boat ‘Spirit of Humanity’ on Monday.

“This is an outrageous violation of international law against us.  Our boat was not in Israeli waters, and we were on a human rights mission to the Gaza Strip,” said Cynthia McKinney, the Green Party’s 2008 candidate for President of the United States.  “President Obama just told Israel to let in humanitarian and reconstruction supplies, and that’s exactly what we tried to do.  We’re asking the international community to demand our release so we can resume our journey.”

Read Cynthia McKinney’s latest statement here: http://www.freegaza.org/en/home/hope-fleet-news/970-call-off-your-attack-dogs-cynthia-mckinney

Ms. McKinney had earlier sent appeals to President Obama and the State Department for assurances of protection for the relief mission.  The Spirit of Humanity was sailing in international waters when it was seized.  Greens stressed that the relief boat represents no threat to Israel and must be allowed to continue its voyage to Gaza.

For more information and updates, see the Free Gaza Movement web site (http://www.freegaza.org), including the latest release on the seizure of the relief boat (http://www.freegaza.org/en/home/hope-fleet-news/976-israel-attacks-justice-boat-kidnaps-human-rights-workers-confiscates-medicine-toys-and-olive-trees).

For communications and updates from Cynthia McKinney, visit her Green Party page (http://www.gp.org/cynthia/index.php) and blog (http://dignity.ning.com).

The Spirit of Humanity was carrying medical supplies, cement, olive trees, and children’s toys to Gaza after the Israeli invasion in December and January damaged or destroyed 50,000 homes, 800 industrial properties and 200 schools damaged or destroyed, 39 mosques, and two churches.  The supplies were confiscated by the Israeli navy.

The Green Party of the United States condemned the invasion and massacre of Palestinians and has endorsed the call for boycott, divestment, and sanctions against Israel until the Israeli government guarantees full human rights, including political rights and democracy, for all Palestinians and non-Jewish Israelis.

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