An Australian man is among the detained passengers on board two boats carrying humanitarian aid to the besieged Gaza Strip that were intercepted by Israeli naval forces on Friday.
Michael Coleman, 35, was one of the 27 detained passengers on board the Canadian ship Tahrir and the Irish ship Saoirse that were intercepted on November 4, a Press TV correspondent reported on Tuesday.
Coleman was well aware that the boats would likely be intercepted and that he would be detained. He had prepared a video for the Australian public before his arrest.
“Please notify your member of parliament or the department of foreign affairs immediately to lobby for my release and to get support for Palestinian people who suffer these injustices every day,” Coleman said on the video clip.
John Coleman, Michael’s father, told Press TV that “if these sorts of things had happened off the coast of Somalia, we would be talking about kidnapping and piracy. We are not talking about that sort of thing.”
“I am very disappointed in the lack of action that the [Australian] government has taken on Michael’s behalf,” he added.
Authorities within the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade told Press TV that they do not have an official position on the incident.
Michael Coleman had also been arrested in Greece in the summer when Freedom Flotilla II attempted to set sail from the country and was stopped by Greek authorities.
Press TV correspondent Hassan Ghani was also captured by Israeli forces on Friday. He has been denied access to an attorney and the Israeli regime has not announced where Ghani is being held.
This is not the first time Israel has attacked flotillas carrying humanitarian aid to Gaza. In May 2010, the Israeli military attacked Freedom Flotilla in international waters in the Mediterranean Sea, killing nine Turkish nationals aboard the Turkish-flagged MV Mavi Marmara, and injuring about 50 other activists that were part of the six-ship convoy.