Friday, 3 July 2009

Founder of RICE N PEAS Films held captive in Israel !!!

A group of peace activists including four Britons are being held in "appalling" conditions in an Israeli prison after seizure of their boat carrying aid to Gaza, their supporters have claimed.
The 21 campaigners, including Nobel peace laureate Mairead Maguire from Northern Ireland, are being held at Givon jail in Ramla, Israel, according to the Free Gaza Movement.

In a brief email, one of the group said: "Conditions at the prison are appalling, 14-20 to a cell measuring 7m by 7m. Mairead forcibly removed in handcuffs and status unknown."

Eight British and Irish activists were among those detained by the Israeli authorities on board the boat Spirit of Humanity as they tried to transport humanitarian supplies to Gaza.

They have been named as: Ishmahil Blagrove, a Jamaican-born journalist based in the UK; the boat's captain, Denis Healey, who is from the UK; British journalist Fathi Jaouadi; British activist Alex Harrison; Theresa McDermott, from Scotland; Adnan Mormech, from Rusholme, Manchester; Derek Graham, an Irish electrician; and Ms Maguire.
The email said four of the Britons - Mr Healey, Mr Blagrove, Mr Mormech and Mr Jaouadi - were being held at Givon prison along with Ms McKinney.

The group said their vessel was carrying medical and reconstruction supplies as well as children's toys and could not constitute any threat to Israel. The boat was searched and received security clearance from the Cypriot Port Authorities before departing and never approached Israeli waters, they said.

The email - whose author has not been disclosed - said the activists were 18 miles off the coast of Gaza when they were "kidnapped" by Israeli special forces supported by six navy gunships.
Israel has said that the boat was attempting to enter the Gaza Strip illegally. An Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman said the navy took control of the cargo boat after its crew ignored warnings it could not enter Gazan coastal waters.

Hailing from Jamaica and residing in the UK, Ishmahil's work has previously been broadcast by both the BBC and Channel 4 and includes Bang Bang in da Manor (2004), which Ishmahil produced. The film was described as ‘the most graphic and disturbing documentary ever made in Britain’, for its candid depiction of the violence and murder plaguing Britain’s black communities. Arms dealers, drug users, victims and gunmen were interviewed during six months of filming to produce this highly praised documentary. Due to his approach to filmmaking the founder and director of RicenPeas Films has been able to produce a string of highly successful documentaries exploring often unreported global issues.

A Foreign and Commonwealth Office spokesman said: "We have confirmed that six British nationals were detained by the authorities. Consular staff have visited them and ae providing consular assistance. We are seeking further clarity on the incident from the Israeli authorities."

Please do what you can to spread the word about this.

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