Democratic Socialist Movement

For Struggle, Solidarity and Socialism in Nigeria

By - DSM

Protest in Lagos against Detention of Paul Murphy and Illegal Blockade of Gaza

Protest in Lagos against Detention of Paul Murphy and Illegal Blockade of Gaza

Flotilla Protest againt the detention of Paul Murphy in Lagos - photo DSM

Flotilla Protest againt the detention of Paul Murphy in Lagos – photo DSM

On November 4 the Israeli military detained, on the open sea outside Israeli territorial water, activists sailing on the MV Saoirse and the Canadian boat the Tahrir. On November 11, after seven days illegal detention, the detainees were released but the Israeli military confiscated all their mobile phones, computers and other equipment.

On November 11, before the detainees’ release was announced members of the Democratic Socialist Movement (DSM) had planned to picket the Consulate of Israel in Lagos only to realize, while at the building which used to house the consulate, that it had been relocated finally to Abuja. Armed with placards and protest letter, we had gone there to protest the continued detention of flotilla activists and illegal blockade of Gaza, Palestine by the Israeli authorities. The flotilla activists who included Paul Murphy, the Socialist Party Member of European Parliament (MEP) representing Dublin, Ireland, were kidnapped by the Israel army, who boarded their ships (MV Saorse and Tahrir) like pirates on international waters, on their way to deliver humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza. Socialist Party, which Murphy belongs, is the sister organization of DSM and also affiliated to the Committee for a Workers’ International (CWI)

Flotilla Protest againt the detention of Paul Murphy in Lagos - photo DSM

Flotilla Protest againt the detention of Paul Murphy in Lagos – photo DSM

The protest was moved to Tafa Balewa Square (TBS) (formerly Race Course), to draw the public attention to the campaign. About 10 minutes of action including solidarity song and display of placards with various slogans was held. The slogans on the placard include: “Stop Violence against Palestine” “Free Murphy and other activists to continue journey to Gaza” “Release MV Saorse and Tahrir” and “End Blockade of Gaza Now”, etc. TBS, where we held the protest, is a very important place in the annals of Nigeria. It was the venue where the Union Jack was lowered and Nigerian Independence from the British was officially declared on October 1, 1960.

The protest letter, published below, has been sent to the e-mail address of the Israel Embassy in Abuja and copied to the media.

Please visit the CWI website, for more details on the detention of Gaza flotilla activists

By Peluola Adewale



We write to register to you our disgust at the actions of the Israeli state and military in its treatment of the activists on board the MV Saoirse and Tahrir. One of them is Paul Murphy, Socialist Party Member of European Parliament (MEP) representing Dublin, Ireland

Their ships carrying humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza through your illegal blockade were boarded in international waters. This is an act of piracy. While boarding the ships, the level of violence used against the unarmed crew was sickening. The ship and its content were then attacked.

The crew were then abducted by your military and brought against their will to the Israeli port of Ashdod. They were then, incredibly, charged with having ‘illegally entered Israel’ despite the fact that it was never their intention to enter Israel, they were kidnapped on international water and brought there by your military.

Since the crew and activists on humanitarian mission to Gaza have been transferred to Givon prison, they have been abused further. They have had all their belongings taken from them and were shackled and subjected to continuous harassment and repeated, humiliating body searches. They were denied their right to a phone call. But most disturbingly, they have been the victims of a coordinated campaign of sleep deprivation. This is a breach of their human rights and we condemn it in the strongest terms possible.

We find it more disturbing that seven of them due home in Ireland yesterday (November 10) afternoon were at the last minute prevented from boarding their flight out of Ben Gurion airport by Israeli armed guards. The Israeli authorities have said that this is due to an issue with the airline but we think it is a deliberate and calculated attempt to break the morale of the activists, their families and their supporters. All seven are now being detained indefinitely, with no further news available from Israeli authorities about when they will be released.

We demand the immediate release from Givon prison of all the crew and activists and allow them to continue their journey to Gaza. We repeat again that they have not illegally entered Israel but were brought there against their will. We demand that the ships Tahrir and MV Saoirse are repaired to their original state and that the cargo is replaced at the expense of the Israeli state, so they can complete their journey. We also demand an immediate end to the siege of Gaza.

Segun Sango
DSM General Secretary