Tuesday, January 5, 2010

VPM's memorandum to Egyptian embassy

Viva Palestina Malaysia would like to express our absolute outrage in the latest developments in Al Arish. To brutalize a group of volunteers who have put in an immeasurable amount of effort to help alleviate the deplorable conditions of the people of Gaza is simply unacceptable.

In our telephone conversation with British MP, Mr George Galloway, the leader of this convoy of mercy, it was brought to our attention that the Egyptian riot police used “massive violence” that included stoning, beating and the firing of tear gas. Convoy members were injured and hospitalized. Some have been arrested, including a Malaysian student based in the UK and we express the gravest of concerns here.

We would like to remind the Egyptian government that the convoy complied with Egypt’s condition of entry at Al Arish and in return expected an incident free passage to Gaza. However, Egypt’s added conditions upon the convoy’s arrival at Al Arish bring to question the Egyptian government’s motives. These conditions included the refusal of entry of some fifty trucks into Gaza.

Viva Palestina Malaysia places the following demands on the government of Egypt:

1. That the Egyptian government immediately releases all convoy members and until this is done, will be held accountable for their safety.

2. That the Egyptian government ensures the safe, speedy and incident free passage of the convoy to Gaza.

Viva Palestina Malaysia reiterates that as an immediate neighbour Egypt has the advantage in ensuring a smooth passage for the convoy to accomplish its mission. Instead, as widely expected, the Egyptian government has been explicit in frustrating it. Egypt’s claims of standing in solidarity with the Palestinians and specifically the people of Gaza ring very hollow in light of its actions. The Egyptian government has now successfully proven to the world that there is indeed a siege in Gaza and that Egypt is a major accomplice in this heinous crime.

Viva Palestina Malaysia is greatly disappointed with yet another example of Egypt’s complicity and shares the anguish of the convoy and millions of supporters of the Palestinians around the world. We hope the Egyptian government will finally do what is right by the Palestinians and redeem its tattered reputation in the eyes of civilized people around the world.



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