July 4, 2009
Freed Bahraini activists last night revealed their agony in Israeli captivity after a failed mercy mission to Gaza.
The five said Israeli forces tried to force them into signing documents in Hebrew and were subjected to racism and discrimination, with Arabs being separated and moved away from the others.
The activists, who were speaking at a Press conference, arrived in Bahrain early yesterday after a high-level intervention by Bahrain's leadership.
They were among 21 people aboard the Spirit of Humanity, which was intercepted by the Israeli Navy on its way to deliver aid to Gaza on Tuesday.
Most other members of the group, including US Representative Cynthia McKinney and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Mairead Corrigan Maguire, remained in Israeli custody yesterday.
The activists ~ Khaled Abdelkader, Khaled Al Shenoo, Kathoum Ghuloom, Fatima Al Attawi and Juhaina Alqaed ~ said they were held at the Ben Gurion airport near Tel Aviv.
Israeli forces informed them they would be deported via Egypt, then said via Jordan and then changed their mind saying via Turkey, they said.
Finally, they were led, handcuffed, to a private plane where they were received by a Foreign Ministry delegation, the activists said.
An official Bahrain delegation had traveled to Israel overnight on an unprecedented trip to bring back the activists.
The activists said Israeli navy boats had rammed their mercy ship.
They were intercepted by six warships and four boats with 10 elite soldiers on each of them..