FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
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Sam Ritchie, CODEPINK Communications Director, 347-452-0008, firstname.lastname@example.org
CODEPINK’s Ret. Col. Ann Wright Was One of 13 Women Aboard
WASHINGTON, October 5, 2016 – Early this morning, the Israeli navy intercepted and captured the Gaza-bound Zaytouna-Oliva ship in international waters. The sailing boat was carrying women representing 13 countries from 5 continents who were trying to break the Israeli blockade on Gaza. The women included three parliamentarians, an Olympic athlete, former US Diplomat and CODEPINK Activist Ann Wright, and Nobel Peace Laureate, Mairead Maguire. The interception occurred as Israel was simultaneously bombarding Gaza.
The last message heard from Mairead Maguire stated "We are people of the world, we should be allowed to visit our brothers and sisters in Gaza and not be stopped. We will continue to support the people of Gaza and the people of Palestine until they have their human rights and their freedom.”
“CODEPINK is disheartened to hear that the Zaytouna-Oliva has been intercepted and the women on board will not be able to reach the shores of Gaza,” said Ariel Gold, CODEPINK’s Justice for Palestine campaign coordinator. “Gaza has been under a crippling siege for more than a decade. Its citizens have been denied access to sufficient food, medicine, and other life necessities. They have been subjected to brutal military assaults, killing and injuring thousands of civilians. The Women's Boat to Gaza sailed as a message of hope and love to the people of Gaza that they are not alone in their suffering.”
In a video made prior to her kidnapping, Wright encouraged Americans to contact her former boss, Secretary of State John Kerry to demand her immediate release from Israel and to end the military blockade on Gaza.
“We will insist that Israel stop interfering with our voyages to Gaza, since they do not have the right – legal or moral – to enforce a blockade that collectively punishes 1.9 million Palestinian people,“ Wright said in the video.
The Women’s Boat to Gaza is an initiative of the Freedom Flotilla Coalition composed of civil society organizations and campaigns from more than a dozen countries, including CODEPINK: Women for Peace. For more information, visit www.womensboattogaza.org.