Irish Nobel Laureate Mairead Maguire and Derek Graham to be deported from Israel today speak at press conference upon return
IPSC Press Release, for immediate release: 7th July 2009
The two Irish citizens kidnapped by the Israeli state last Tuesday – Nobel Laureate Mairead Corrigan Maguire and Derek Graham – will be deported to Ireland tomorrow Tuesday 7th July. Their flight IZ921 will arrive at Dublin airport at 19.40.
The Ireland Palestine Solidarity Campaign (IPSC) will be organising a welcoming committee at the airport, and there will be a PRESS CONFERENCE with Ms. Maguire and Mr. Graham at 9.00pm in the Malton Room, Radison Blu Hotel beside Dublin Airport. A number of elected representatives have also expressed interest in speaking at the event.
Speaking from Cyprus, Mr. Graham’s wife Jenny said: “Of course, I am very relieved to hear that my husband will be released unharmed. However, while Derek and the other 20 Free Gaza activists are to be freed, Gaza remains unfree, existing under the brutal Israeli siege which Derek, Mairead and the others set out to break in the first place. We must not forget this fact, and we in the Free Gaza Movement will not give up our fight to help the 1.5m people of Gaza.”
IPSC spokesperson Freda Hughes said: “In a week that has seen the kidnappings of three Irish aid activists – two in Gaza and one in Darfur – we have seen the spirit of humanity and self sacrifice of the Irish people. Mairead and Derek’s brave mission must be seen in light of the ongoing siege of Gaza; the fact that 1.5m people, attempting to rebuild their society after Israel’s deadly onslaught six months ago, are still being denied the most necessary supplies, never mind their most basic human rights, is appalling in the extreme.
Ms. Hughes continued: “There is an ongoing humanitarian crisis in Gaza and governments around the world have collectively failed to take decisive action, leaving such interventions up to small under-funded activist groups such as the Free Gaza Movement and Viva Palestina Convoy. This in itself is a disgrace.”
Ms. Hughes concluded: “While we in the IPSC welcome the release of all the Free Gaza abductees, we condemn their kidnapping by the Israeli state in the first place. Once again, we see Israel acting with impunity and the utmost contempt for those seeking to aid the people of Gaza. As Irish people and EU citizens we must remember that Israel’s impunity is reinforced by the failure of the EU to take any meaningful action. Of particular note is the EU’s refusal to suspend Israel from the Euro-Med agreement – under which it enjoys privileged trading status with the EU – despite the many breaches of Article 2 of that agreement by Israel. We call on the Irish government to take a leading role in arguing for Israel’s suspension from the Agreement until such time as it complies with international law.”
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