Saturday 29 May 2010

"This is the Cyprus Police Helicopter..."

"This is the Cyprus Police Helicopter. We have instructions to keep you as far away as possible from the Cyprus Ports..."

Please watch this video of a Cyprus Police Helicopter outside of the country's territorial waters accosting and blocking one of the vessels of Free Gaza Flotilla. The vessel is named the Challenger 1, and navigated by Shane Dillon, who is the Mate of the vessel.

In the video, the Police are clearly heard saying that because of the Challenger 1's humanitarian aid purpose, they will not allow it closer to Cyprus than 12 nautical miles. When the Mate states that they might need to effect repairs and asks if that "precludes us from entry" to Cyprus, the Police check with their superiors and report that "You will need a special permission due to the purpose of your trip; before proceeding closer to the 12 nautical miles [boundary] we advise you to contact authorities to get permission..."

The Cyprus IndyMedia Collective condemns in the strongest possible way and with the most vehement sentiments the actions of the Government of Cyprus to ban the Free Gaza Flotilla from our country.

In an article by one of the Collective's founding members published yesterday it was stated that:
"...This total betrayal of the struggle for solidarity and mutual aid with Gaza by the leadership of the ruling party, AKEL, comes at a crucial time. In previous years, all the efforts to break the seige of Gaza through the Ships for Gaza missions had made good use of Cyprus as a base for launches, refueling, repairs for the ships, etc. but even more importantly, because of the support of our people for the mission, through the work for these projects a political infrastructure was created that would have been perfect for the present mission - the largest to date - that is taking the shape of an entire Fleet. The blow to the mission brought on by the AKEL Government is targeted exactly at this: to prevent the possibility of support by the people of Cyprus."
[hellenic (greek) language]:

Later on Friday, the Challenger 1 required repairs. There were problems with the steering and it was reported that the vessel was taking in water (leaking); concerns about sabotage and safety issues dictated that the vessel should seek shelter and repairs at the Port of Larnaka. Due to the despicable banning by Government of Cyprus, the Flotilla had to seek help from the illegal port of the occupied city of Famagusta [Ammohostos; Gazimagusa]. The forces from Turkey that are illegally occupying the Famagusta Port did not object to aiding the Flotilla, even though the military occupation of the City and its Port is exactly the same as that of Israel's illegal blockade of Gaza - with the exception that its genocidal extermination policies were successful in this case, and have chased away every single one of the City's native inhabitants.

Here is a short video of Ewa Jasiewicz, spokesperson for one of the Flotilla's vessels, explaining the situation:

Free Gaza Movement


Launch of Palestine Film Festival 1 June 2010

Targeting the Free Gaza Flotilla

Ενδο~Μήδεια / Cyprus IndyMedia


Independent Palestinian News Sources



  1. shocking!...?
    may be not, if we see what the AKEL government is trying to do to its own people...!
    congratulations to all those voting for them!!!

  2. it's really disappointing to see such a thing happening by the government of Cyprus.. we know this doesn't reflect the opinion of people in Cyprus..

  3. Yes Belal,

    Our hearts are with Palestine and its people - even before 1974 when Cyprus was subjected to its own genocidal Nakba by the invading army from the north, the vast majority of our people have been seeing ourselves as the natural allies and friends of our neighbours.

    I feel a terrible shame with the actions of the Cyprus Government and its ruling party. Because they acting in our name, in the name of our people, and they even have the audacity and arrogance to pretend they are socialists.

    Shame, shame... terrible shame.

    How is the "honourable" Minister of Interior, Mr Neoklis Sylikiotis, going to face the community at the Palestine Film Festival on Tuesday, on the 1st of June opening night? He was one of the four Ministers who signed the order to the security forces to expell the Flotilla.

    The answer is actually simple: the leadership of the party and its Government functionaries are used to lying and hypocricy. It's nothing for them to spin a few slogans and keep pretending that nothing really significant happened.

    They will just say "oh we really support Palestine, but [vague] circumstances, [vague] pressures, [vague] rightwing elements, [vague] nationalism, [vague] interests of Cyprus, [vague] international law... FORCED us to act this way."

    But they have NEVER said HOW or WHO forces them to do these horrible things to our own people and to our neighbours, injuring and paralyzing the struggle for Liberation locally and worldwide.

    It's always lies and opportunism from these people. It is their standard policy.

    Petros Evdokas,