All journalists invited to attend the Mavi Marmara trial held Nov.6 in Istanbul

 Journalist Cevdet Kılıçlar

On 31 May 2010, Israeli armed forces attacked the Mavi Marmara ship and other vessels that were carrying humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip in international waters. Nine humanitarian aid volunteers including journalist Cevdet Kılıçlar were killed during the attack, more than 50 volunteers were wounded, and all the passengers of the flotilla, including the crew of the vessels, had been imprisoned in Israel. 

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A report by the United Nations Human Rights Council has founded that during and after the attack, rules of international humanitarian law and human rights law were evidently violated, and grave crimes were committed such as wilful killing, torture and inhumane treatment, causing great suffering or serious injury to body or health, arbitrary arrest and detention, restriction of the freedom of expression, confiscation of personal belongings and similar grave crimes. 

Legal action has been sought at national (in Turkey, USA, Spain, Belgium, Italy, etc.) and international level (at the International Criminal Court and UN Human Rights Council) to hold the perpetrators and commanders of the attack accountable. 

An investigation into the attack on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla that was conducted in Turkey by the Istanbul Office of Public Prosecutor had been completed and a criminal case has been filed at Istanbul 7th High Criminal Court on 28 May 2012 with file number 2012/264. The indictment lists 490 individuals, including passengers and the relatives of the slain activists from 36 countries, as “complainant-victim”. The accused parties are the Israeli Chief of General Staff Rau Gavriel Ashkenazi, Naval Forces Commander Eliezer Alfred Maron, Air Forces Intelligence Director Avishay Levi and Chief of Israeli Military Intelligence Amos Yadlin. The prosecutor limited the suspects list for now with the Israeli military unit that prepared and carried out the operation plan with Ashkenazi as the leading figure. Other civilian and military figures involved in the attack will be brought to justice once investigation reports about them have been completed. The suspects are being tried in accordance with the Turkish Penal Code for voluntary manslaughter, attempted voluntary manslaughter, Intentionally causing grievously bodily harm, plundering, abducting or confiscating maritime or railway transportation vehicles Intentionally causing damage to property, deprivation of personal freedom and inflicting torture and maltreatment. 

The first session of the Mavi Marmara trial will be held at Istanbul Çağlayan Courthouse at 09:30 on 6 November 2012 and will last intermittently for three days. Passengers of the flotilla, relatives and lawyers of the slain activists in Turkey and around the world will be attending the trial. The trial is also expected to be followed closely by scores of human rights observers, media members, and lawyers from different countries. 2 

This trial is the common cause of the family of humanity with different religious, ethnic, and cultural identities just like the people united at the Mavi Marmara vessel. The crimes committed were not only against the passengers on the ship but also against the collective conscience of the humanity, all conscientious people and nations as were represented on that vessel. Israeli perpetrators have violated the fundamental universal rights of humanity. Those responsible should be tried and punished before the publicly in a fair trial. 

For these reasons, the organisers request the following from all journalists 

– To attend the MAVİ MARMARA TRIAL in order to support the common cause of humanity; 

– Inform your country’s press and world public opinion, 

– Observe the trial on behalf of the press member Cevdet Kılıçlar, eight other humanitarian aid activists killed in the attack, and Uğur Süleyman Söylemez, the wounded activist who is still in coma for the last 2.5 years, and support relatives of the slain activists and passengers from 37 countries that will be attending the trial, hoping that justice prevail on the earth, large enough to provide everyone with a dignified life.

For further information please contact Vice President of Board of Trustees, Huseyin Oruc, or

Izzet Sahin 

Mobile : +90 530 341 21 34 

E-mail : ihh@ihh.org.tr 

Address : Buyuk Karaman Cad. Taylasan, Sok. No:3 Fatih, Istanbul

or contact

Zumrut Sonmez
Media Relations
009(0) 212 631 2121 Ext:254
009(0) 536 602 42 73
media@ihh.org.tr 
zumrutsonmez@ihh.org.tr

 

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