Gulden Sonmez was a passenger on the Mavi Marmara, part of the humanitarian aid convoy to Gaza in 2010. She was in The Hague for the presentation of the request for review of the ICC prosecutor’s decision not to go ahead with an investigation into to the Israeli attack on the flotilla.
“I’m a lawyer who’s been defending human rights for the last twenty years. I’ve worked at NGOs and human rights organisations as a volunteer activist.
“My desire is for everybody on earth to be able to reach justice, whatever their religion, race, nationality, colour or gender. I believe people should not be in a destitute situation begging for the right to life. They should have rights without fear.
“The blockade on Gaza is an illegal blockade. It is illegal and inhumane. This is unacceptable. Law should protect all. Israel, throughout this whole blockade, has committed so many crimes and no one has been held accountable. If we are going to talk about human rights, the rule of law, right to life, then this illegal blockade must be lifted. We took on this journey to highlight this point and to help those suffering.
“When we were organising this flotilla, we were following the rule of law. We have done everything by the book and we were so transparent about our actions and our intentions. We were like a picture of humanity on those boats. Everybody from East, West, Christian, Atheist, Buddhist, Jewish, black, white on those boasts. We all had the same intention: Peace, justice, equality. I believe this is what the world needs, not just Gaza.
“We were attacked in international waters. During the attacks a lot of people were injured and killed. In front of me people were killed. The world watched live how Israel disrespected international law and the rights of everybody on those boats. We were in international waters. International law was protecting us.
“So what is surprising is the silence of the masses against this injustice. We owe this to the children who are being killed in Gaza, but even more so to the next generation of children who are being born anywhere: establishing the rule of law.
“I’m a Muslim. I believe as a Muslim in the rule of law on earth. Before we disembarked from the port, we declared that if a Muslim state would impose the same kind of blockade on a Jewish community anywhere in the world we would set up the flotilla for those Jewish people who were being blockaded in the same way. This is justice.”
(Photo: Janet Anderson / Justice Hub)