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A campaign to raise awareness of the Palestinian struggle for freedom and justice.
We support the call for Boycott, Divestment & Sanctions of Israel and Israeli goods.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Partner makes emotive call from Israeli prison

South Wales Evening Post
A CAMPAIGNER held in an Israeli jail has made an emotional phone call to her partner for the first time since being taken captive.
Swansea Council worker Fiona Williams was able to leave a voicemail for John McLean early yesterday morning before finally speaking to him.
She told him of the appalling conditions in the cramped cells, the heat and the pressure to sign deportation forms.Mr McLean, 47, from Waunarlwydd, said: "She left me a voicemail in the morning, then I called her and she was calling me at the same time. Then she finally got to speak to me.

"She was a bit emotional and she was telling me about the conditions. It was really quite awful. They were being treated like criminals. There are five or six of them in really small cell and the stink in the heat is awful. They are not given any opportunity to exercise and they have very limited contact with the embassy or someone to represent them. It's only been in the past few days they've had someone to go in."

However, despite the terrible conditions, Mr McLean said the group were in "incredibly high spirits", and Miss Williams was still very determined in her mission.Miss Williams was one of two Swansea women travelling to Israel to protest peacefully against the blockade of Palestine with a group of campaigners.
She and D Murphy, from Mount Pleasant, were part of a group of 16 people from the UK, who flew to Ben Guirion airport in Tel Aviv on July 8. The group had been on a hunger strike over officials' refusals to allow the detainees access to representation. However, that has now ended.

"They (Israeli officials) want them to sign deportation papers, which they are completely refusing to do," Mr McLean said.
"Their (the protesters) biggest worry if they sign the papers is that will open doors: it will set a precedent for anyone else visiting.

"Fiona wants to be there at least a week, so she wants to be there until Saturday, but after that she might just give in because she has responsibilities."
In the meantime Mr McLean, who works in customer services, can do very little except wait for information of his 46-year-old partner.

He said he is watching several news stations at one time, while his Arabic-speaking sister is keeping watch on the Arabic news stations for any information.
"It's frustrating," he added. "Things change very quickly, but there is a lot of uncertainty over when they are coming back at the moment."
However, despite being jailed in terrible conditions, Mr McLean said his partner was still only thinking of others.
He added: "The voicemail was asking how I was doing, saying 'I hope everything's OK with you' and not really talking about what she's been going through, but that's the sort of person she is. She always puts everybody else first."
Two of the detainees returned to the UK yesterday. Mick Napier, 64, chairman of The Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign, and retired university lecturer John Lynes, 83, flew back into Luton Airport in the early hours and more were expected to return last night.

Mr Napier said: "We were chained, handcuffed and detained for no apparent reason — we had committed no crimes — no UK or Israeli law was breached.
"We were denied any information about any charges against us and were also denied a telephone call over the entire period we were in prison."
A Foreign and Commonwealth Office spokeswoman added: "We can confirm that a number of British nationals were detained at the airport in Tel Aviv on Friday.
"All the British nationals currently detained pending deportation have been visited by consular staff from the embassy in Tel Aviv and we have been in contact with families in the UK."We understand they will be deported in the next few days."
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