News & Politics

UN Report: Israeli Raid on Gaza-Bound Boat Included Execution-Style Slayings, One of an American Citizen


An investigative report from the Human Rights Council of the United Nations has concluded that when the Israeli military boarded the Mavi Marmara last year and killed nine people, “at least six of the killings can be characterized as extra-legal, arbitrary and summary executions.”

The most condemning part of the report is paragraph 170:

“Furkan Dogan and Ibrahim Bilgen were shot at near range while the victims were lying injured on the top deck. Cevdet Kiliclar, Cengiz Akyuz, Cengiz Songur and Cetin Topcuoglu were shot on the bridge deck while not participating in activities that represented a threat to any Israeli soldier. In these instances and possibly other killings on the Mavi Marmara, Israeli forces carried out extra- legal, arbitrary and summary executions prohibited by international human rights law, specifically article 6 of the
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.”

Furkan Dogan was a native of New York state. The 18-year-old, who had become a permanent resident of Turkey, was the youngest person killed that day. According to the Huffington Post:

“The report reveals that Dogan — was filming with a small video camera on the top deck of the Mavi Marmara when he was shot twice in the head, once in the back and in the left leg and foot and that he was shot in the face at point blank range while lying on the ground…The report says Dogan had apparently been “lying on the deck in a conscious or semi-conscious, state for some time” before being shot in his face.”

The U.S. Government and media are being unusually quiet about the execution killing of an American citizen by a foreign government, Salon and HuffPo being perhaps the most high profile exceptions. We can’t seem to find anything about the story in today’s New York Times, and a search of their website shows that the most recent story about Dogan ran on the Lede Blog on June 3rd. (Of course, we are used to the Times taking a long time to tackle difficult political stories.)

Emily Henochowicz, the subject of our July cover story “An Eye for Art,” was protesting these killings, when her left eye was shot out by a tear gas canister fired by an Israeli border guard. Henochowicz was a Cooper Union art major studying abroad in Israel at the time.

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