June 3: violence against prisoners

My Greek friend has just arrived safe home, and sent us the following message. Everyone referred to is a friend of mine from Gaza or the FreeGaza trips. Still nothing of Caoimhe at all as far as I know.

“Just came back home (with a Greek Air Force airplane) from the Israeli prisons. I saw from far away Ewa at the airport. She seemed OK.

Journalist Manolo Luppichini (Italy) was still at the detention center of the airport. Despite the effort of the Greek delegation and the Greek Ambassador we couldn’t take him with us to Greece. I havent spoken to him (just saw him in another cell) but if I understand from what other people told me, the Zionists have stolen his equipment, maybe his passport too. Maybe money too. We Greeks didn’t manage to take him with us, so he is still in the hands of the Israelis. We need to do something to support him.

Ken O’ Keefe (Ireland, London resident) has been severly beaten by the israelis today at the airport. Initially I saw him at the terminal, he was OK, just with little signs of probably previous beatings. Afterwards from a window of a cell, at the detention center of the airport, I saw him very badly beaten, they have cracked his forehead, and his face was full of blood. I haven’t spoken to him, but if I understand well he was resisting deportation.

So we didn’t try to take him with us, but we cannot leave him helpless being tortured by the Israelis. We need to do something for him. (I informed the Greek Ambassador and he said he would inform the Irish one. I also informed the lawyer that was at the detention center at the moment.)

We did manage to take with us, 3 French people (2 of them of arabic origin) and Paul Larudee (USA). Paul has been severely beaten too, several times by the Israelis, a couple of times it was in front of me, in the port of Ashdod. I couldn’t help him, it was a horrific scene seeing him being tortured.

Vaggelis Pissias along with Yannis Karipidis (Greece) were also beaten in the port, in the same place, at about the same time. Especially Vaggelis has been beaten badly (take in consideration he is a man of age…)

Paul, Vaggelis and Yannis came back with us, so at least they are safe.

By the way, me I was only attacked during the commando/pirate operation in the Greek-Swedish boat. I non-violently resisted, so I received 4 or 5 hits with the taser gun at my right arm and 6-7 shots of paintball from a very close range (the gun was nearly touching my legs). These paintball shot from such a close range have the same effect with “rubber” bullets. So, I am ok, only a lot of bruises – and burns from the taser gun. And of course 3 days of hunger strike and isolation… Of course this is nothing compared to what have happened at the turkish boat.”

Vik made further enquiries in Italian about Manolo and reported the following:

Further word on Manolo Luppichini via released prisoner Joe Fallisi (Italian opera singer) and possible mention of Palestinian/British Osama Qashoo?:

[Though he was meant to leave for Istanbul] Manolo Luppichini, the only one of the six Italian activists who lacked a passport, remained in Israel because he has been involved in an argument with the Israeli police. The police were slapping Osama, a Palestinian, then Manolo intervened to defend him. “The police took him away,” said Fallisi. “When we were about to move to the airport, I asked what had happened to Manolo, the police told me that he would arrive shortly and instead I have not seen him.”

Finally, we have just heard from another passenger that Osama Qashoo is safe in Turkey, hopefully this is right.

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