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Kenny says nothing as 14 citizens held in Israel: Sinn Féin

9 November, 2011 - by Pádraig Mac Lochlainn

Fourteen Irish human rights activists still in Israel

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Trade, Pádraig MacLochlainn has called on the Tánaiste to stand up to the Israeli government and demand the immediate release of 14 Irish human rights activists taken from the intercepted vessel, MV Saoirse.

The families of the 14 Irish citizens are very worried that they are still being held, despite indications that they would be released yesterday. Nothing has been heard of the arrested Irish since.

Deputy MacLochlainn today called on Taoiseach Enda Kenny to make a statement in the Dáil on the issue but he refused to do so.

Deputy Mac Lochlainn said:

"The time for diplomatic niceties has passed.

“The interception of this humanitarian vessel travelling to Gaza in international waters was an act of piracy by the Israeli naval forces at the orders of the Israeli government.

“The 14 Irish human rights activists were forcibly removed from the MV Saoirse and taken to Israel against their will.

“They have refused to sign the farcical deportation papers, on principle, as they did not enter Israel illegally. They rightly are not going to give legitimacy to Israeli military actions that defy international maritime law"

“However, the families were led to believe that their loved ones would be released yesterday and sent home to Ireland. That has not happened and the families are increasingly concerned. I have contacted An Tánaiste, Eamon Gilmore's office again today and appealed to him to stand up to the Israeli government and demand their immediate release.” ENDS

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