John Lynes, a retired lecturer from the University of Lincoln’s School of architecture in Hull and a longterm activist on Palestinian issues, has been held since Friday and it is unclear when his release by Israel can be expected.
It is believed he and others are being held in a detention center near Tel Aviv.
Mr Lynes, aged 83, was detained, handcuffed and shackled, by Israeli authorities as part of a group of 12 Britons arrested after landing at Ben Gurion Airport on Friday. They were taking part with hundreds of other international campaigners determined to highlight the conditions suffered by Palestinians under occupation by the Israeli military.
In a statement before his departure, John Lynes, a Quaker of 50 years, said: “I have chosen this step without bitterness or antagonism. I wish for the Israelis what I wish for my own children: a life free from fear and hatred.”
“On Friday 8th July hundreds of people from all over the world, who feel like me, will be flying into Ben Gurion airport, with written invitations to visit a Bethlehem refugee camp in the West Bank. Normally the Israeli authorities would deport us, unless we go through the tiresome ritual of persuading them that we are innocent pilgrims or tourists. This time we are going to tell the truth. And we will refuse to be deported.”
Martin Deane, of Hull and East Riding Green Party comments, “I know both John Lynes and Pippa Bartolotti. They are people of the utmost credibility and commitment. They have broken no laws and want to visit with Palestinian friends who have invited them.
“The Israeli authorities are deliberately acting in a heavy handed manner to stop this demonstration of international solidarity.”
Arrested in the same group as Ms Pippa Bartolotti, the Deputy Leader of the Wales Green Party, it is likely that John Lynes and the group will be deported over the next few days.
Chair, Hull and East Riding Green Party
- John Lynes, 83, is a retired lecturer of the University of Lincoln’s School of architecture in Hull, Quaker and a member of JFJFP, Jews for Justice for Palestinians, and CPT, the Christian Peacemaker Teams, APJP, Architects and Planners for Justice in Palestine, Christian CND, World Development Movement and the UCU, University and College Union.
- Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign, http://twitter.com/scottishpsc
- John Lynes – Peacemaker in Palestine, http://www.bbc.co.uk/humber/content/articles/2007/11/09/hebron_feature.shtml
- John Lynes full statement before departing for Israel. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/JustPeaceUK/message/31665
Coordin8.org.uk/app/index.php (Click on Support UK citizens’ right to visit Palestine).
John Lynes, video talk, on Palestine
CPT – Palestine, on Facebook