All three Canadians who were detained by authorities after taking part in a flotilla that tried to breach an Israeli blockade on the Gaza Strip are coming home, supporters say.
Two are to arrive back in Canada on Thursday, and another one next week, according to Canadian Boat to Gaza, which helped organize the mission, which was meant to bring attention to the controversial blockade.
The news comes after the same organization said all three had been warned by the Israelis they could be held in prison without trial and charges for two months unless they signed a document admitting they voluntarily entered Israel illegally.
It’s a claim the group says is false, saying those who were travelling on the Canadian ship Tahrir and Ireland’s Saoirse were “violently kidnapped from international waters and taken to Israel against their will while trying to reach Gaza.”
The group has said those on the mission were beaten and intimidated by Israeli authorities, a claim government sources say has not been verified by consular officials who saw them in custody.
David Heap of London, Ont., and Ehab Lotayef of Montreal are to arrive at Toronto’s Lester B. Pearson Airport on Thursday morning. They’ve scheduled a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa early in the afternoon.
Karen DeVito is to return home to Vancouver next week, the group said.
(www.montrealgazette.com / 10.11.2011)