Int'l lawyers meet to defend Gaza flotilla activists

Sixty lawyers from 25 countries met here on Friday to defend 577 activists onboard Mavi Marmara, the flagship of the aid flotilla that tried to break through the Gaza blockade and was violently intercepted by Israeli naval forces, local Dogan News Agency reported.

The lawyers, coming from many Western countries as well as Muslim ones and even Israel, met here to discuss a common strategy to defend the activists from 36 countries, said the report.

Lawyer Ramazan Ariturk read the press release prepared by the lawyers, saying the defense will follow a path of universal legal values.

The lawyers sought to prove the superiority of international law and to give it a new perspective, added Ariturk.

Ariturk emphasized the legal struggle was not going to be anti- Israel, saying "if the victims were Israeli citizens we would do the same. This is not a 'hate summit' as some with ulterior motives have claimed."

All nine killed during the flotilla raid will be defended in the same manner, said Ariturk.

He added that they are seeking to establish an international commission and are working for the bringing of an international case against those responsible.

[Source: Xinhua, Istanbul, 16Jul10]

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