Contact the Foreign & Commonwealth Office

I have just seen this urgent request to contact the FCO re the crew of the Irene:


There is a link to the FCO’s website, from where you can email a message. There is a letter on the website which can be cut and pasted onto the box on the website. I think it is important to stress that the interception of the boat and her crew is completely illegal and that the UK should be extremely concerned about the unlawful imprisonment of its citizens by a foreign state.

This is the text of a message from Simon Natas, a solicitor to the FCO:

Dear Sirs

I understand that the Jewish Boat to Gaza , the Irene, has been intercepted by the Israeli Navy and diverted to Ashdod . The crew of the boat, two of whom are British, have been detained by the Israeli authorities. I am extremely concerned as to the safety and well being of all the crew, some of whom are elderly.

I note the alarming evidence about mistreatment of crew and passengers of the Mavi Mamara whilst in Israeli detention as contained within the recent UN Human Rights Council report and trust that the UK authorities will do all they can to ensure the release of those detained and to ensure that their human rights are respected whilst in custody.

I should be grateful if the FCO would:

i) confirm as a matter of urgency that contact has been made with the Israeli authorities and that steps are being taken to protect the interests of those in Israeli custody.

ii) confirm that it has expressed to the Israeli authorities in the strongest terms that the interception of the Irene is unlawful and the detention of her crew contrary to Article 9, paragraph 1 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which prevents arbitrary arrest or detention.

iii) confirm that it has conveyed to the Israeli authorities its support for the message of the boat, namely that the illegal and inhumane siege of Gaza must end as a first step towards a just solution to the conflict.

Yours faithfully,

Simon Natas

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