Monday 11 July 2011

Lucas presses Hague for action on Israel human rights detentions

Several British citizens, including Pippa Bartolotti, Deputy Leader of the Wales Green Party, have been detained in Israel this weekend while en route to Bethlehem for a human rights demonstration.

The group was held at Ben Gurion airport and were then transferred to Givon Prison. It remains unclear under what legislation they are being held, and whether any charges have been brought.

There are also reports that they have been denied food and water for long periods of time. The group may now be faced with deportation.

Green Party Leader Caroline Lucas has written to Foreign Secretary William Hague, saying in part:
"There does not appear to be any grounds for these citizens being detained, as traveling to the West Bank is meant to be permitted for British citizens.

"Does Israel now have a policy of seeking to prevent human rights defenders from entering the occupied territories or entering Israel?"

She encouraged Hague to "press for these British citizens to be immediately released and for moves to deport them to be called to a halt, so they can continue with their peaceful visit."

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