Australian Michael Coleman detained in Israel arrives home TODAY!

For Immediate Release – Friday, 11 November, 2011 (8am)

Australian detained in Israel arriving home today

Despite a threat from an Israeli judge that they could face two months in prison, Freedom Waves to Gaza activist Michael Coleman has been released and deported back to Australia. 14 Irish delegates remain in detention.


What: Michael Coleman will arrive in Sydney after 5 days in an Israeli prison, following their abduction from international waters en route to Gaza to challenge Israel’s illegal blockade.

When: Media Conference 4.30pm, Friday, 11 November, 2011. 

Where:  Sydney DOMESTIC airport (Terminal 2). Arrivals area, ground floor.

What: Photo opportunity as Michael’s family, friends and supporters welcome him back from his journey. Michael will briefly comment on his experience on Freedom Waves to Gaza aboard the Canadian boat Tahrir and his time in Israeli prison.

Background: The reason why Michael and the other international peace activists who were detained undertook this journey in the first place was to show solidarity with the ordinary people of Gaza who have lost their basic freedoms as a result of a blockade imposed by the military

forces of Israel, and to take action that would contribute to the end of that blockade.

Freedom Waves was never intended to focus attention on the 27 people aboard the MVSaoirse and the Tahrir, but on the 1.6 million people of Gaza – half of whom are children under the age of 16 – who continue to suffer collective punishment at the hands of the Israeli military. While Australian delegate Michael and international citizens were languishing in prison in Israel for the “crime” of coming to their aid, the population of Gaza continues to languish in what is, in effect, the world’s largest open air prison.

This assault on this the latest of eleven attempts to break the blockade of Gaza via the sea demonstrates once again that Israel is able to act with impunity when it comes to the welfare of the Palestinian people and anyone trying to help them. It is because of the continuing inaction of governments around the world, including the Australian Government, that ordinary people feel compelled to act.

Michael is returning today and will be available for press interviews upon arrival atSydney DOMESTIC airport (Terminal 2).

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