Mavi Marmara case at the UNHRC
Lawyer Ramazan Arıtürk who is one of the victims onboard the Mavi Marmara international humanitarian aid flotilla delivered a speech at the 16th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNH
Europe, Palestine, Middle East, Turkey 29.03.2011

In his speech, Arıtürk talked about Israel’s assault on the Mavi Marmara, brought forward theses requiring Israel’s trial and reiterated calls for Israel’s trial by international courts.

Arıtürk began his speech by talking about Israel’s bloody attack on the Mavi Marmara on 31 May 2010 and drew the audience’s attention to certain points.

“The report of the Turkel Commission, appointed by Israel to investigate the Mavi Marmara incident and whose impartiality is controversial, is far from being objective and it aims to cover up Israel’s crimes with a one-sided approach. The findings of the report are far from reality and unacceptable for us. Israel aims to prevent the facts from coming to the surface with this report. Israel’s aim to obscure evidence is so obvious that Israel has so far failed to return the personal belongings it seized on board the ship such as journalists’ cameras or video footage neither to their owners nor to legal authorities.”

Libya reminder to the UN

One of the issues Arıtürk dwelled on in the speech he made in Geneva was the UN Security Council’s referring Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi to the International Criminal Court (ICC) on March 2. Following Security Council’s demand, ICC prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo announced that a preliminary examination of available information shows that an investigation is warranted after the Security Council asked him to look into the violent repression of protesters in Libya since February 2011.

Arıtürk said he expects the UN to show the same attitude about a criminal compliant launched against Israel at the ICC on 14 October 2010. The criminal compliant launched on behalf of the victims of Mavi Marmara flotilla was noting that Israeli armed forces violated the Geneva Convention and committed war crimes through Israel’s attack on the flotilla.

Call for Israel’s trial at the ICC

In his speech, Arıtürk also called on Israeli authorities to run all the legal processes at the International Court of Justice in the Hague and other international legal organizations if it is sure that its assault on the Mavi Marmara was just and legitimate.

“We have full confidence that impartial national and international judicial organs will confirm the justness of the victims of the Mavi Marmara flotilla. The UNHRC which is responsible for protecting human rights and liberties should see that the Israeli blockade in Gaza is far from having international  legitimacy and is unacceptable and the UNHRC should use all its authorities to end the illegitimate situation there. We hope that the sensitivity shown for Libya will also be shown for the victims of the Gaza flotilla,” said Arıtürk.

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