11 Jul 2011
Caroline Lucas speaks out on Green Party prisoners in Israel
Several British citizens, including Pippa Bartolotti, Deputy Leader of
the Wales Green Party, have been detained in Israel this weekend while
en route to Bethlehem for a human rights demonstration.
The group was held at Ben Gurion airport and were then transferred to
Givon Prison. It remains unclear under what legislation they are being
held, and whether any charges have been brought.
There are also reports that they have been denied food and water for
long periods of time.
The group may now be faced with deportation.
Green Party Leader Caroline Lucas has written to Foreign Secretary
William Hague, saying in part:
"There does not appear to be any grounds for these citizens being
detained, as traveling to the West Bank is meant to be permitted for
"Does Israel now have a policy of seeking to prevent human rights
defenders from entering the occupied territories or entering Israel?"
She encouraged Hague to "press for these British citizens to be
immediately released and for moves to deport them to be called to a
halt, so they can continue with their peaceful visit."