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10 Aid Workers Held Hostage on Greek Owned Ship


Two of the individuals are survivors of the Mavi Marmara incident last May; the situation arose from ship owner argument with agent.

Strofades IV

(DERNA PORT, Libya) - "Strofades IV" has broken its moorings, without port permission, and is heading out of Derna Harbour.

The rear door of the ship is half closed, with convoy vehicle B7 stuck on it precariously. It is extremely dangerous.

In the lower deck of the Ro-Ro (rollon rolloff) ship are held hostage:

3 Libyans - (2 port authority policemen, with Colonel Salahuddin Rashin, Manager of Derna Port)
1 Moroccan
1 Algerian
2 Irish
6 UK nationals

The violent Greek owner who is also its captain of "Strofades IV" has just disembarked (as at 22.50 GMT) through a side door of the ship, onto a speed boat. His speed boat has made for another cargo vessel in Derna the harbour - "Odin Finder".

None of our guys now know who is in charge of Strofades IV, or where it is destined to go.

The ship is empty, apart from the hostages and single convoy vehicle jammed in the doorway. It is making rapid headway to get out to sea.

The matter is a serious breach of every maritime law possible.

We have asked all relevant Embassies to supply urgent, immediate, consular assistance.

We are EXTREMELY concerned for the safety of all the nationals on board.

Previous reports on the Road to Hope Convoy:

Nov-10-2010: Greek Ship Captain Threatens to Leave the Gaza Road to Hope Convoy - Bonnie King

Nov-03-2010: In Limbo in Libya: Gaza Road to Hope Convoy Urges Contact with Egyptian Embassies - Tim King

Nov-01-2010: Road to Hope (R2H) Convoy in Positive Dialogue with Egyptian Officials -

Oct-30-2010: Road to Hope Convoy Stalled at Egyptian Border -

Oct-29-2010: Egypt Working with Road to Hope Convoy: Group Still Enroute to Gaza - Tim King

Oct-26-2010: Road to Hope Convoy with Ken O'Keefe Approaching Gaza - Tim King

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What's his reason for acting the way he did? Was he threatened by some undercover Mossad agents, or by Israel through Egyptian authorities, without anyone else knowing about this, or what?

He sped off the ship onto a get-away speed boat, so this was pre-arranged. He seems to possibly be involved in a sort of conspiracy against the Road to Hope passengers and their mission; or maybe he was secretly threatened in Egypt and told that he better get out before being killed or disappeared, but, and crazily, to leave the ship cruising without a navigator with the passengers left onboard.

Egypt didn't let the convoy travel by land to the Gaza border, and then we have this lunatic ship captain story. There obviously are people with political influence who don't want the aid to get to Gaza either way.

It's not surprising that enemies of Palestinians and humanity want to make sure aid doesn't get to Gaza, but this ship captain story is a little surprising. If he wasn't going to take the convoy passengers and their vehicles to Al Arish, then he could've simply said so; instead of leaving these activists stuck on a ship they're evidently unable to skipper or navigate for themselves.

And he's just made himself a prosecutable criminal, so his identity is hopefully known. He definitely should not be allowed to get away with this act of lunacy and malevolance, or cowardice, whichever of the two applies to his reason for doing this. He's a lunatic and malevolant, or lunatic and coward, or perhaps all three. He should get a prison sentence and I guess a couple of years wouldn't be too much. And that's besides whatever he might get for breaking the ship's moorings without port authorization.

Or place him in Cuckoo's Nest, from "One Who Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest", if the big Indian guy is there. He could rip another toilet out to scare some sense into this lunatic captain.

At first I thought the story was going to be about a Greek ship captain forcibly removing immigrants from Greece or another European country, for there was a recent interview at Dem. Now! about an anti-immigrant wave in Europe (links further below). But the two stories don't seem like they'd be related, unless the lunatic ship captain is a far right Greek and he had initially thought he might want the money for transporting the Road to Hope passengers and then changed his mind. That, however, doesn't seem like it'd explain breaking the ship's moorings as he did; unless more convoy vehicles were going to be boarded on the ship and he decided he no longer wanted anything to do with this, so he broke the moorings to prevent more vehicles from being driven onto the ship. Whatever the reasons are for his actions, he's a lunatic.

Anyway, I wonder how the convoy passengers stuck on the ship are really hostages. From what I understand of this situation, it doesn't seem like they're really being held by anyone and that it should be easy to get them off of this ship; as well as to put a person capable of navigating the ship on the ship in order to get it back to the port. It sounds more like a very inconvenient situation rather than a threatening one.

The following is the interview about anti-immigrant politics rising in Europe.

"Slavoj Zizek: Far Right and Anti-Immigrant Politicians on the Rise in Europe"

Oct. 18th, 2010

Part II:

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