World Bulletin / News Desk
Human rights group Amnesty International has dismissed the findings of an Israeli inquiry into a deadly raid on an aid flotilla last year as a "whitewash," saying it failed to account for the deaths of eight Turks and one Turkish-American on one of the ships.
In a report published on Jan. 23, an Israeli committee said the Israeli forces acted "lawfully" when they raided the ship the Mavi Marmara in international waters, where all the deaths happened, and intercepted five other ships in the flotilla.
According to Amnesty International, "Despite being nearly 300 pages long, the report crucially fails to explain how the activists died."
"The Commission's failure to account for the deaths reinforces the view that the Israeli authorities are unwilling or incapable of delivering accountability for abuses of international law committed by Israeli forces,"
Amnesty said in a statement released on Friday. "It also highlights the need for follow-up to ensure that the sharply contrasting conclusions of the International Fact-Finding Mission appointed by the UN Human Rights Council, which were issued on Sept. 22, 2010, but not even mentioned by the Commission, are addressed and that the rights of victims to an effective remedy are upheld."
In its own report on the deadly takeover of the Mavi Marmara, Turkey said the killing of civilian passengers constituted a violation of human rights and insisted that Israel's blockade against Gaza, which the flotilla was trying to break, also violated principles of international law.
The attack on the Mavi Marmara brought Turkish-Israeli relations, once a solid alliance, to a breaking point. Turkey now demands an apology and compensation for families of the victims, a demand Israel rejects.
Amnesty International said the Israeli commission failed to prove that the activists had brought firearms on board despite its claims that the activists had used firearms against Israeli forces on the ship.
It also rejected the Israeli claim that the resistance the Israeli forces encountered on the ship from some activists formed part of an armed conflict and said the use of force should have been an act of last resort under international law.
Last Mod: 01 Şubat 2011, 17:31