Maguire handcuffed by Israelis after protests


IRISH NOBEL Peace Prize laureate Mairéad Maguire was yesterday taken to an unknown location by the Israeli authorities after being handcuffed and forcibly removed from a holding facililty at Ben Gurion airport.

Ms Maguire was among 21 passengers and crew seized on Tuesday from a Gaza-bound ferry attempting to break Israel’s tight blockade of the Strip. She was handcuffed when she protested at being separated from the rest of the group of peace activists, but was soon reunited with the rest at another facility.

The other Irish national on board, the first mate of the Greek- flagged Spirit of Humanity, Derek Graham, was also held but later rejoined the group. He told his wife, Jenny, by phone last night that they were being treated with “kid gloves” and were insisting on the return of all their computers, mobile phones, cameras and recording equipment.

She understands that they may be charged with entering Israel illegally, although they were in international waters 24 nautical miles off the Gaza coast when they were taken into custody and transported to Israel. The Irish consultate in Tel Aviv has been in contact with Mr Graham.

Two women with Israeli passports were released yesterday. Also among the detainees is Cynthia McKinney, an African-American human rights advocate and former US congresswoman.