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Gaza activist Kevin Ovenden safe in Istanbul

PUBLISHED: 13:03 03 June 2010 | UPDATED: 16:06 05 October 2010

ACTIVIST Kevin Ovenden has been deported to Istanbul after he was caught up in the Israeli attack on the convoy carrying aid to Gaza. Mr Ovenden who worked in the Westminster and Bethnal Green offices of former Respect MP George Galloway was on the Mavi

ACTIVIST Kevin Ovenden has been deported to Istanbul after he was caught up in the Israeli attack on the convoy carrying aid to Gaza.

Mr Ovenden who worked in the Westminster and Bethnal Green offices of former Respect MP George Galloway was on the Mavi Marmara ship which was attacked by Israeli forces leaving nine people dead.

He arrived in Istanbul together with hundreds of activists this morning.

Mr Ovenden has been on two other aid convoys to Gaza and is the organiser of the UK-based Viva Palestina campaign.

In a statement today the Newham resident said: "The massacre on the Mavi Marmara must be a turning point. Passengers from 32 countries were murderously attacked by the Israeli forces.This is the Sharpeville and the Soweto of the movement for Palestinian solidarity. People of those countries around the world must now tell their governments that we are not prepared to continue to allow Israel to flout international law. The inhuman siege of Gaza must end now! The Israeli government has used terror for political ends, but we are not afraid. We who survived the Mavi Marmara massacre will redouble our efforts to bring humanitarian assistance to the people of Palestine and end this siege."

His friend and colleague Respect's Rob Hoveman has known Mr Ovenden for 25 years and spoke of his relief that he is safe.

He said: "Kevin is uninjured and I am very relieved. Everybody is delighted that he is out and safe.


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