'Gaza aid ship crew released in Greece'
Sun, 14 Nov 2010 03:36:56 GMT
Several aid workers who were held captive by Greek commandos while on board a relief ship that was supposed to deliver supplies to Gaza have been released.
"The convoy members, who were abducted then detained in Greece, have been released following examination of video footage. The captain has been arrested," Press TV broadcaster Lauren Booth said on Saturday after receiving contact from the Road to Hope convoy members.
In another interview with Press TV correspondent Hassan Ghani on Saturday, Ken O'Keefe of the Road to Hope convoy explained their circumstances.
Despite the fact that the convoy provided the captain of the ship with proof that the payment had been effected, he said he had to wait to verify that the money was in his account.
After a quarrel, the captain moved the ship into the sea and some of the group members, who managed to get into the ship to reclaim some of the convoy's belongings and make sure that the captain would not leave, were taken.
“We were kidnapped,” O'Keefe said. The captain “has violated all sorts of laws. If he had gone back to Libya he would have gone to jail. He went to Greece because the owner of the ship was from Greece and he knew he would find more favor there.”
Ten aid workers -- seven Britons, two Irish citizens, and an Algerian -- were on board as well as several Libyan police officers and a senior port official.
When the ship entered Greek waters, Greek commandos boarded it.
“These commandos, in contrast to Israelis, were very professional. They dealt with us very correctly, very morally, and we were treated very well by them,” O'Keefe said.
“To this point, the Greek officials have realized that we should not be treated this way. We were kidnapped and we should be taken care of,” he added.
“We want to get back to Libya and continue our mission but since we do not have our passports we should wait to get our passports to fly to Libya,” O'Keefe added.
O'Keefe also noted that the convoy will press charges against the captain.
The Road to Hope said the vessel was originally scheduled to sail from Libya to El Raidin, Egypt, with the relief supplies then to be transported via the land route to Gaza.