Road to Hope Convoy Members Kidnapped

Home / Uncategorized / Road to Hope Convoy Members Kidnapped

A new press release is being written regarding our being released from Greek custody but I submit this now as we were unable to while we unable to release two days ago.


12 November 2010

Road to Hope (R2H) convoy members kidnapped from Libya to Greece

Greek Commandos board Strofades IV in Greek Waters

The Road to Hope humanitarian aid convoy left London on the 10th of October with £500,000 of medical aid for the besieged people of the Gaza Strip. After travelling 4,500 miles through the UK, France, Spain, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Libya the convoy stalled at the Egyptian border on October 26th due to an Egyptian refusal to allow land access to Gaza. As a result the convoy leaders had little choice but to secure a ship at significant extra expense and delay.

Convoy members kidnapped on the Strofades IV

On Wednesday November 10th $82,500 was transferred to the Egyptian Shipping Agent representing Maltese registered “Strofades IV” for charter from Derna (Libya) to Al Arish (Egypt).  Convoy Leader Kieran Turner, speaking from the ship off the coast of Libya commented that “Ten members of the convoy along with seven Libyan police officers (including the port captain of Derna, Libya) have been kidnapped.” At the time of writing, convoy members have been held on the Greek-owned ship – at sea with its cargo ramp open (endangering all aboard) – for 40 hours. When mobile phone signals were available while the ship was passing Crete, Turner commented that “We believe we are now being taken towards Greece, away from Gaza, the destination we have been pursuing for four weeks – including over two weeks stranded at the Egyptian border. With Egypt insisting that aid convoys must travel by sea rather than land, we were compelled to embark on what has been shown to be a dangerous, difficult, and unnecessarily expensive path to Gaza.”

Convoy members on lifted ramp of the Strofades IV in Libya

Ken O’Keefe, a convoy leader and survivor of the Mavi Marmara massacre, who on that occasion disarmed two Israeli commandos, said “We have spent the past two weeks in Libya trying to get our aid through Egypt by land to Gaza.  Instead we were compelled to enter complex negotiations with shipping agents who appear to have had some kind of falling-out with the ship owner – with no apparent concern for the suffering being experienced in Gaza. This begs the question why land access is not possible into Egypt for Gaza?”

Captain of the Strofades IV

After 36 hours at sea approximately 20 Greek commandos boarded the ship in Greek waters by Zodiak.  The owner of the Strofades IV (who directed the captain to depart Derna Port unlawfully) communicated to the Greek officials that the kidnapped convoy members were “terrorists”. Ken O’Keefe commented that “Despite this, the Greek commandos were professional, moral and humane.  This runs in stark contrast to the brutal and murderous treatment we received from the Israeli commandos on the Mavi Marmara.”

Ken O’Keefe making distress calls by VHF radio

“As of this writing (aboard the Strofades IV) we are safe and comfortable, with one sick convoy member being tended to, and water and toilets being provided on request.  We hope to be processed promptly.”  Convoy team leader Tauqir Sharif says “Our main priority now is to be reunited with the convoy in Libya and take our aid to Gaza as soon as possible, whether by sea or land.”

Greek commados boarding ship off the Greek coast


London – Eleanor Merton +44 777 037 6701

This is for media inquiries and important business only, please share with relevant people.

Ken O’Keefe Greece +30 698 2143361

Libya / Egypt – Kieran Turner & Ken O’Keefe +44 7944 401 757 or +44 7852 927 999

Now compare the truth with the first class propaganda reported by MSN;

Activists tried to hijack ship to Gaza: owners

A Greek ferry arrived back in port Friday as the owners alleged activists had tried to hijack it in Libya to take aid to Gaza, police said.

Ionian Bridge Shipping Management also denied that British aid workers had been held captive by the crew of the Strofades IV, which was transporting mainly vehicles.

Police in the Greek port of Piraeus said the Maltese-flagged vessel had docked at 11:15 am (0915 GMT) with a crew of 16 to 17 passengers, who were all “safe and sound.”

The police said they were investigating what had happened, while an Ionian Bridge official, Maria Georgoulia, said a dozen activists had tried to storm the ship in the Libyan port of Derna on Thursday.

“They wanted to go to Egypt and then to Gaza,” she said. “There is no contract between us and the activists, what they did was illegal.”

She said that some 100 militants had gathered on the port at Derna on Wednesday wanting to board the Strofades IV.

“We called on the Libyan authorities to help us but finally seven Libyan police stayed on board the ship throughout the voyage without doing anything,” Georgoulia added.

She said the crew had given food to the militants, “who put on a whole show on the deck, wearing lifebuoys and pretending to be in danger.”

Georgoulia denied that the militants had been detained by the crew of the Strofades IV.

Ellie Merton, London liaison for the British group Road to Hope, said Thursday she thought the activists were being held by the ship’s Greek captain after a dispute over money.

The British Foreign Office said, “We are aware of the incident at Derna Port in Libya and we have been in close contact with the organisers.”

One of the Britons on board the Strofades IV was Tauqir Sharif, who was on the Mavi Marmara which was raided by Israeli commandos while en route to Gaza in May, resulting in the deaths of nine activists.


  • Fay Lye
    November 14, 2010, 10:20 pm  

    Hope the convoy gets their money back and finally gets the aid to Gaza!!!

  • November 14, 2010, 10:24 pm  

    Thanks for your diligence in meticulously communicating and documenting this incredible story as it was, and still is unfolding, Ken. Many of us from all over OUR world wish you and all of those in the convoy and those in support of the convoy well. May the rest of this journey and other journeys to Gaza be fruitfull also. Godspeed, my Friend!

  • Mary Frenzel
    November 14, 2010, 11:49 pm  

    Brave, lucky & incredibly calm in the face of great adversity. Talent that is needed by Palestine today.

  • November 15, 2010, 12:13 am  

    Incredible evidence for the world and Greek Court to see.
    Surely justice will prevail regarding this incident.

  • November 15, 2010, 12:22 am  

    brilliant, thanks

  • Kira Stoyko
    November 15, 2010, 3:41 am  

    We are all behind you and Gaza, Ken. I hope you know how many people were posting everything we could about you and your safety for doing what so many of us can’t or wish we could do. You stand for us all.

    • November 15, 2010, 9:07 am

      Thank you Kira.

  • Mary Frenzel
    November 15, 2010, 3:59 am  

    MSN seems to be trying to cover it up – giving legitimacy to the shipping company’s claims & denials. I suppose journalists have to do that – well courts of law are made to operate in such cases.

  • BA
    November 15, 2010, 7:36 am  

    I hear what really get the Greek commandos out of their normal sympathetic and humane ways is being attacked with knives and clubs from all around.

    • November 15, 2010, 9:10 am

      That’s because they do not imprison entire populations, murder women and children in mass and attack humanitarian aid workers in international waters as well; maybe the Israel government should get around to acting like sane human beings first, that would be a good start.

  • Christine
    November 15, 2010, 12:07 pm  

    Firstly, glad you’re safe and well. This is the important thing. Wanna know what I think? Relations between Israel and Turkey have been sinking for several years but the Mavi Marmara attack seems to have been the last straw for both governments, who are now going through an economic divorce from each other. Who will benefit? GREECE. Every Greek-owned business must be aware of the potential for million – billions – of dollars of trade and tourism at a time when the Greek economy is desperate for investment. The Greek government is surely going to bend over backwards to protect their rich, powerful new friend. These are powerful forces working behind the scenes against you.
    What do you think?

  • November 16, 2010, 9:34 am  

    Kindly PLS read and Share us:
    Open letter to Chilean miners!

  • November 16, 2010, 8:21 pm  

    BA..The humanitarian aid workers aboard the Mavi Marmara were DEFENDING their ship from armed ATTACKERS (well trained Israeli troops) in international water. The unprovoked attack by Israel in international waters was an act of piracy. Nine DEFENDERS who were on a mission of mercy to bring supplies to an illegally blocaded and suffering people were murdered. Dozens of other defenders were wounded. Three of the seven injured commandos were treated for their injuries and released by those they attacked.

    Only a sociopath or a fool would side with Israelis who continue to murder innocent people with impunity. Which are you?

    • BA
      November 16, 2010, 11:08 pm

      Only a psychopath would reject an offer to pass the contents of his boat to Gaza after being checked in Egyptian or Israeli ports. Only a psychopath would choose to endanger the lives of hundereds of people that came along for a peaceful aid mission, by starting a fight they cannot win with armed soldiers which can only end with great bloodshed.
      The Middle East knows these sort of psychopaths too well the kind of psychopaths that choose blow themselves up inside of school or a mosque in because they believe that murdering innocent people some how serves their cause.
      The unprovoked attack came from the IHH terrorists the second zodiacs came close to the Mavi Marmara if they would have acted like logical moral people it would have ended just like it did with the greek commandos.
      But their mission was never about aid it was never about Gaza it was about causing a provocation and death.

  • November 17, 2010, 9:21 am  

    BA…This is one reason why the Mavi Marmara floatilla declined to enter an Israeli or Egyptian port, and instead stated that they had intended to sail to Gaza:

    Activists and police clashed as the pro-Palestinian group protested Egypt’s stipulation that 59 vehicles donated by the Turkish delegation would have to pass through Israel on their way to Gaza.

    “We chose not to send these automobiles via Israel,” said Viva Palestina spokesman Zaher Berawi told Cairo’s al-Masry al-Youm Thursday.

    “From our previous experience, and from the experiences of others, we know that aid bound for Gaza through these crossings usually ends up missing or confiscated in Israel.”

    Choosing to take aid to people in need who are trapped and purposefully impoverished and made to suffer behind an illegal barrier is not psychopathic, it is altruistic.

    I’m glad that you mentioned suicide bombers, who, by the way haven’t killed anyone in the last 5 years. What you failed to mention were the Israel bombers who fly U.S. bought F-16s, dropping bombs on innocent people every few days in Gaza. Israeli Helicopter pilots, tank and artillerymen, and warship captains have killed more innocent people in 5 minutes than suicide bombers killed in the 5 years they were operating as about the only weapons system Palestinians had. Why not criticize the far more deadly Israeli weapons operators?

    Israel has invaded Palestine. Palestinians are legitimately resisting, and sometimes fighting with their occupiers. Innocent people are killed. But far more are killed by the occupiers than by those who are protecting what is left of their lands:

  • David Evans
    November 17, 2010, 9:46 pm  

    It’s interesting that you mention Palestinian suicide bombers who have killed few Israelis. Palestinians haven’t used this weapon since 2006. Israeli bombers who fly F-16 airplanes, drive tanks and fire artillery rounds (bombs) into Palestinian neighborhoods have killed 100 times the number of innocent people than suicide bombers and inaccurate stovepipe rockets have (Palestinian rockets have only killed 27 people since sep 2000). For perspective on this:

    Check out the rest of the info on this sire for a better understanding of the conflict.

    Also, the purpose of the convoys is to break the ILLEGAL blockade on Gaza

  • BA
    November 18, 2010, 11:22 am  

    David Evans, actually i was talking about Iraq Afghainstan and Pakistan where Sunnis go into Shias mosques and blow themself up or Shias attacking Sunni schools or targeting Christians.
    Anyway there was a suicide bombing in Israel in 2008.
    Also there is NOTHING ILLEGAL about the blockade, these economic sanctions by are not in anyway close to the legal sanctions signed on Iraq by the UN and implemented by the whole world.
    According to international law Israel is obliged to protect its own citizens and if Israel were to remove the blockade and not try to prevent the arming of the terrorists that rule Gaza then it would be in breech of international law.

  • Mary Frenzel
    November 18, 2010, 2:20 pm  

    I can’t believe anyone would think that violating International Resolutions, (& making a deal with the US to veto ANY resolutions to which Israel objects during the next 6 months – which Obama, turkey that h e is, agrees to) putting a blockade on another country WHILE VIOLATING THEM IN THEIR HOMES IS LEGAL?

    You must have a very narrow idea of laws. Which ones do you think apply to you. Israeli settlements have been found in the International Criminel Court to be illegal however Israel says but not according to ‘Israeli’ law, which apparently supersedes International law.

    This is why there is going to be a WAR.

  • David Evans
    November 18, 2010, 8:21 pm  

    Please don’t conflate the Israeli illegal expansion and occupation of Palestinian lands with the U.S. occupation of Iraq. Different locations on a map, BA.

    You are confused as to the central issue. You say Israel must imprison people and build walls to protect itself. This is true. But WHY must Israel do this? Because it has invaded and colonized a land that was the home of millions of non-Jewish peoples by murdering thousands and driving nearly 1 million of them from their homes. Israel continues to expand onto their lands by murdering those who resist:

  • David Evans
    November 18, 2010, 8:31 pm  

    The Gaza Blockade Is Illegal and the Flotilla Attack Was an Illegal Act of War:

  • David Evans
    November 18, 2010, 8:39 pm  

    Israel’s blockade of Gaza is illegal irrespective of the manner in which it is imposed because a blockade is an act of war and an occupying power cannot declare war upon the territory it occupies. To do so would conflate the right to initiate war (jus ad bellum) with the laws of occupation (jus in bello) and render useless the distinction of the permissible use of force in each case. This analysis is different in kind from the one that characterizes the blockade as illegal for its contravention of Article 33 of the Fourth Geneva Convention prohibiting collective punishment.

    The prohibition on collective punishment stipulates that if indeed Israel is imposing the blockade in order to repress and prevent Hamas mortar and rocket fire then it should do so in a way that does not severely harm the civilians to whom it owes a duty to protect as an Occupying Power. Several humanitarian and human rights law organizations, (e.g., ICRC , Gisha, Amnesty International, OPT Special Rapporteur) have established the blockade’s illegality for its contravention of Article 33 at considerable length. Significantly, this duty is not unique to occupying powers as non-occupying belligerents also have the duty to ensure the welfare of the civilian population. Accordingly, Israel has a duty to protect the civilians in Gaza irrespective of whether or not it remains an Occupying Power. However, specifically because Israel remains an Occupying Power, its blockade is illegal even if Israel were to ensure the welfare of Gaza’s 1.5 million inhabitants. Israel’s status as an Occupying Power prevents it from invoking legal self-defense, and from using force beyond that permissible during police operations, against Gaza-the territory it occupies.
    For additional information:

  • BA
    November 19, 2010, 10:09 am  

    Israel doesn’t need to declare war on Gaza it have been in a state of war with Gaza for years. Every single rocket comming to Israel is a declaration of war, there was another declaration of war comming from Gaza yesterday. Israel does insure the welfare of the people of Gaza, and that is why there have been a constant flow of goods and humanitarian aid comming into Gaza even during Cast Lead.
    Economic sanctions are a legitimate tool used by the UN, economic sanctions will always cause some sort of collective punishment, if it was indeed illegal the heads of every single country in the world and the whole UN should go to jail.
    Israel have been under ruthless collective punishment by the Arab world since the moment it was formed.
    Syria and Lebanon are starving Israel and blocking entery of food through their border. Arab states have been using collective punishment on Israeli citizens for 62 years and do not trade with it. Israelis are under collective punishment from their occupying powers Lebanon and Syria (controling the borders and not allowing movements or goods is occupation right? lol).
    So you claim Israel should stop Hamas mortar and rocket fire then it should do so in a way that does not severely harm the civilians. Will the teddy bears and rainbow assault do the trick?
    Come up with a plan and let me know, but remember if that plan some how causes harms to civilians in Israel or Gaza or it fails to stop the attack you will have to go to jail.

  • David Evans
    November 19, 2010, 10:41 am  

    Again, BA, because you seem not to understand the basis for the conflict: Israel invades Palestine. Israel overrna the borders established by the UN in 1947, expelled 800,000 innocent people from their homes and Israel has been expanding and expelling people ever since. Any and all violence by Palestinians against Israel is justified resistance to Israel’s illegal initial and continuing aggression. Period. I won’t waste any more time on this post, as you refuse to accept this fact. A good read by an Israeli Historian:

    And a brief lecture by another Jewish scholar:

    Also check out this Jewish Brit MP who is critical of Israel:

    • BA
      November 19, 2010, 2:07 pm

      “Any and all violence by Palestinians against Israel is justified resistance to Israel’s illegal initial and continuing aggression.”

      If you are capable of making such claims there is no doubt you are a sick and twisted individual that has no place on civilized society.
      If you think murdering women and children is is justified there is nothing to talk about, at least the mask of you fake morality
      has been torn of your face.
      You can be sure i know the history of this conflict just as well as you do, yet i choose to respect the rights of both sides not just the one.
      You can come up with no solutions only complaints and complaint only to one side.
      Palestinians fired white phosperous on Israeli civilians today, where is the outrage?
      Oh i forgot for animals such as yourself Israeli children have no rights.

  • BA
    November 19, 2010, 12:23 pm  

    Come on David Evans tick tok time is ticking, come up with a solution fast, 3 rockets and 7 mortars were already fired towards Israel in the last 24 hours while you are wasting your time.
    10 declarations of war in 24 hours, 10 illegal crimes against humanity. Hauge awaits you if you can’t bring forward a solution that won’t harm civilians on either side.
    How about Israel will arm its civilians in towns around Gaza with mortars and rockets as well.
    When ever a projectile is fired towards them they will be free to fire in return on to Gaza city.

  • Mary Frenzel
    November 19, 2010, 2:07 pm  

    BA I am sorry the problem with you – Israel is you don’t seem to understand right from wrong. You can’t have things just because you want them. When they belong to other people – they get upset and It’s wrong for you to go into a country and kill everyone – their relatives get upset about that too. You won’t have peace until you can understand things from the perspective of the people you want to get things from – you won’t be able to trade with them either.

    Israel under occupation?????????????????

    • BA
      November 19, 2010, 2:20 pm

      Mary Frenzel

      It is you who don’t see right from wrong, its you who choose to respect all people right for self determination besides the Jewish people. Israel have been under attack by Palestinians since day one and even years before that Jews in Israel were under attack.
      You should tell the Palestinians they can’t have things just because you want them. They are the ones that chose war instead of compromise, they are the ones that didn’t agree to let the Jewish people have 1 single sqaure inch of sovergnity and went on a war of annihilation to disown the Jews from what THE WHOLE WORLD agreed should be theirs.
      There is country that has as much right to exist as Israel, which the whole world voted on its formation.
      There is no peace because the Palestinians refuse peace again and again and again and again.
      They were offered over 97% of the land they asked for and still they turned it down. Becuase they can’t sign anything that would allow Jews to remain with even one inch of land which was once Muslim.

  • Mary Frenzel
    November 19, 2010, 3:28 pm  

    You refused Palestinians the right to return home – but import people from all over the world to take their place, because you want a war with them, for an excuse to kill them.

    Why don’t you recognize the right of Palestine & Palestinians to exist?

    • BA
      November 19, 2010, 4:18 pm

      The Palestinians have a right to exist if they ever choose to do it peacefully in their own country. They have refused to do so for 62 year.
      They will have a right to return home to Palestine if they ever choose peace. 99% of these people have never lived in Israel and never had a home in Israel to return to.
      Millions of people were moved around between 1940 – 1950 non of them were promised a right of return neither were the close to a million Jewish refugees that were forced out of Arab lands.
      European Court of Human Rights made a rulling against “Right of Return” for Refugees

      ” Some thirty-five years have elapsed since the applicants lost possession of their property in northern Cyprus in 1974. Generations have passed. The local population has not remained static. Turkish Cypriots who inhabited the north have migrated elsewhere; Turkish-Cypriot refugees from the south have settled in the north; Turkish settlers from Turkey have arrived in large numbers and established their homes. Much Greek-Cypriot property has changed hands at least once, whether by sale, donation or inheritance.”

      Every Jew has a “Right of Return” of at least 10 diffrent countries that that evicted his family by force.

      • Mary Frenzel
        November 19, 2010, 6:30 pm

        How precisely do you expect Palestinians to choose peace? How would they do that? When someone is hitting you, how do you choose nonviolence? Just as they have – bow & submit without fighting back. Palestine has been doing that in their own country for 62 years. For you to say otherwise is simply a lie – but that is what Israel does – lies.

  • Mary Frenzel
    November 19, 2010, 3:32 pm  

    BA – impossible to reason with maniac.

  • David Evans
    November 19, 2010, 6:44 pm  

    BA, You are wasting everyone’s time here by refusing to see and respond to information that is provided against your argument. You speak of right of self determination. You cite nonsense as if it were fact. “99% of these people never lived in Israel..” Please document this lie. A Zionist buzzword of late is ‘self-determination”. Self-determination is a good thing…as long as you don’t self-determine by murdering other peoples and self-determine on THEIR land.
    You ask me for a solution that will ensure peace for all involved. I offer this: ONE STATE, within which ALL of its citizens will have equal rights and equal protection under law, and live in harmony as they had for hundreds of years, as they had lived before in Palestine before Zionists changed the demographics by importing hundreds of thousands of FOREIGNERS onto the land. TWO-STATE is dead. Sharon killed it when he implemented in earnest, the Settlement Colony Program and destroyed forever what could have been a contiguous Palestinian State. Israel is a failed Zionist nightmare, and it is a walking corpse. It just doesn’t know that it is dead yet:

    • Mary Frenzel
      November 19, 2010, 7:16 pm

      I actually one-state wouldn’t work because the population would be fighting. I would propose 2 governments in two states, within each of which would be freedom of religion and equal rights. If I were Palestine I would deal with the settlers by asking for a pledge of loyalty to the Palestinian State, or leaving, but not to Israel – arrest, try and imprison (or deport) those who violate this pledge. I think the settlers will find other places to go when they realize the police, jailers, juries & Judges are all Palestinians. But I suppose this is chimeric too, it can’t happen without the support of the international community to get Israel soldiers out of Palestine, & if they were going to do t hat, they would have done it.

    • BA
      November 20, 2010, 1:00 am

      There were 700,000 refugees in 1948, there are about 5 millions now. most people which were over 15 would probably be dead by now only people which were kids back then are still alive.
      I would say its obvious over 90% of these so called Palestinians didn’t live in Israel.
      One state solution is a gross violation of the people of Israels right for self determination which will severely harm the civilians of Israel. Recent polls show most Palestinians appose a one state state solution all of the Israels appose it and both Israeli and Palestinian government appose it.
      Only the people that don’t care about neither the Palestinians wishes nor the Israelis wishes and only have the destruction of Israel on their mind support a one state solution. And it seems that for every person that actually cares about the Palestinians there are 100 that care more about bringing suffering to the Israeli people. Luckly people like you have no say on the matter.

      Survey in Gaza and West Bank 30 September- 02 October 2010

      Abandon the two state solution and demand the establishment of one state for Palestinians and Israelis
      1) Certainly support 5.7%
      2) Support 21.3%
      3) Oppose 53.8%
      4) Certainly oppose 16.9%
      5) DK/NA 2.3%
      LOL this “corpse” is doing better than ever.

  • David Evans
    November 19, 2010, 6:48 pm  

    Also, BA…It is well documented that Zionist terrorists blew up and burned synogogs in Arab States in order to entice Jews to flood into and fill up the newly birthed monster, Israel:

    The Myth Of Jewish Refugees
    From Arab Land

    By Dr. Elias Akleh

    23 April, 2007

    • BA
      November 20, 2010, 1:01 am

      It is well documented that Arabs have been burning and cutting down their own olive trees and not settlers.

  • David Evans
    November 19, 2010, 6:55 pm  

    BA…I have your number, me thinks:


  • David Evans
    November 19, 2010, 7:28 pm  

    How can 2-State be viable?

    One of several articles endorsing One-State:

  • David Evans
    November 19, 2010, 10:08 pm  

    BA says “They were offered over 97% of the land they asked for …”
    First of all, they (Palestinians OWNED more than 90% of the land in 1946, before much of it was taken from them:

    also, please document the claim of an “offer” of 97%.

Leave a Comment