The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) has released its report on the Israeli boarding and seizure of the vessels which participated in the Gaza Aid Flotilla on May 31, 2010.
The report is 56 pages long and has 4 annexes. It finds that the Israeli blockade of Gaza is illegal, that the boarding and seizure of the vessels was illegal, that the detention of the passengers was illegal, that Israel tortured the passengers, that the confiscation of the passengers’ possessions was illegal and that the nine passengers who died were willfully killed.
Those are the two words which cause me the most pain – willful killing. As many of you know I watched the Mavi Marmara depart from Antalya on its way to Gaza. I saw the people on it. I have also become friends with Ahmet Dogan, the father of Furkan Dogan who was so horribly killed by the IDF commandos on the Mavi Marmara.
Furkan was on the top open deck of the Mavi Marmara when the first Israeli helicopter arrived. He was holding a video camera and filming the helicopter. He was shot twice in the leg by IDF commandos before any commandos fast-roped down from the helicopter.
If you look at the famous, but short, video which shows Israeli commandos fast-roping down from the first helicopter, you can see a glimpse of him and another passenger lying on the deck.
Furkan was later shot three more times by IDF commandos, including once in the face at point blank range, and killed. The other passenger who was with him was also later shot in the face at point blank range but he survived.
I have talked to Furkan’s father and he is happy that an international body has recognized that his son was cruelly and wrongfully killed. He is looking forward to the UN Security Council report and he believes it will reinforce the UNHRC’s report.
I will be visiting Furkan’s grave next week.
The members of the panel are:
Judge Karl T. Hudson-Phillips, Q.C., retired Judge of the International Criminal
Court and former Attorney General of Trinidad and Tobago, (Chairman)
Sir Desmond de Silva, Q.C. of the United Kingdom, former Chief Prosecutor of the United Nations-backed Special Court for Sierra Leone
Ms. Mary Shanthi Dairiam of Malaysia, founding member of the Board of Directors of the International Women’s Rights Action Watch Asia Pacific and former member of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women.
UNHRC page with links to the report and annexes:
Link to the report:
Links to annexes: