Detained Canadians coming home after Gaza arrest: protest group

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.

( / 10.11.2011)

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