US boat captain jailed in Athens

Published today (updated) 02/07/2011 19:42

John Klusmer faces felony charges for his role in the flotilla - MaanImages

ATHENS, Greece (Ma’an) — The captain of a US boat carrying activists who tried to break the Israeli blockade of Gaza was jailed Saturday in Athens, organizers of the flotilla told Ma’an.

John Klusmer is being charged with two felonies, organizers of the boat told reporters at a news conference in the Greek capital. The investigation will begin Tuesday, they said.

Also, four crew members have been told to stay on the boat which briefly departed Athens port Friday before being blocked by the coast guard minutes later. They have not been charged.

The US boat, one of 10 vessels on the flotilla, had defied orders to remain at port pending the investigation of a complaint, filed by an Israeli group, that the vessel was not seaworthy.

The Greek cabinet has also passed a motion forbidding sail to Gaza.

Although the activists were told they were free to leave the ship, most spent Friday night on board saying the decision was in solidarity with their captain and “the message of the boat.”

Passengers were “keeping their focus on bringing public attention to the blockade.”



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