Herman Reksten (Norway)
Ship to Gaza Norway
Captain of Al Awda, ‘The Return’
Herman has now been released from unlawful detention in Israel.
Photo of his arrival in Oslo, with Chef, Jørgen Pedersen.
Video interview on his arrival in Oslo (Norwegian) here.
Herman Reksten (28) is the Captain of the fishing vessel Al Awda (The Return). He is a Norwegian citizen, working as a sailor in Norway. This is his third attempt to break the illegal Israeli blokade of Gaza.
Herman first participated as a sailor in Ship to Gaza Sweden’s mission with Estelle in 2012, and a second time with Marianne av Göteborg in 2015. Both missions were attacked in international waters by the heavily armed Israeli Occupation navy who kidnapped and imprisoned the international crew on board before they were deported. These were acts which should be considered state piracy, according to Herman, who does not accept what is happening to the people living in Gaza or the illegal blockade of the only port in the Mediterranean Sea not open for trade.
The Freedom Flotilla Coalition 2018 mission is sailing for the Right to a Just Future for Palestine and the boats used in the mission will be given as a gift to the fishers in Gaza. For the first time one of the boats being used in the attempt to break the inhumane blokade is from Norway, with a captain who strongly believes he is obliged to show solidarity with other seafarers.
“Being a sailor is an international profession. Every single day Palestinian fishermen in Gaza are harassed and shot at, even within their “own zones”. As a sailor in Norway I have a duty to show solidarity with other seafarers. I cannot just sit still and look at what’s happening. We choose to get involved in this kind of mission, to give a voice to those who have no choice.”
Herman is the Captain of Al Awda (The Return) and can be interviewed in Norwegian or English.
This is an interview with Herman in the Norwegian newspaper Bergensavisen on 27 April 2018: https://www.ba.no/nyheter/utenriks/krig-og-konflikter/vi-frykter-at-israel-angriper/s/5-8-785371