Mother of Lithuanian activist detained in Israel dismisses charges as ‘unfounded’

Tel Aviv airport
AP/Scanpix

“If expressing opinions is silenced by force I do not think it is an appropriate reaction. The democratic world does not punish people for having and expressing an opinion or attitude,” her mother Elena Tervidytė said on Thursday.

Her daughter was detained at David Ben-Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv on Sunday for threatening national security.

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Tervidytė is convinced Gabriele was detained for her work in Palestine where she has been implementing a variety of projects over the past few years, including some supported by the Lithuanian Foreign Ministry.

“These were projects in connection to children who suffered stress as well as teaching children to handle and express emotions,” she said.

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“She has stated her position very clearly about in many places seeing a lot of injustice in Israeli policies towards Palestine,” said Tervidytė, while pledging to take action to scrutinise the legitimacy of and the reasons behind the Israeli Officials’ actions.

She confirmed her plans to turn to the Lithuanian Foreign Ministry on the matter and said her daughter should be sent back to Lithuania on Sunday.

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Kestutis Vaskelevicius, spokesman for Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius, said the detained woman met with the Lithuanian consul but had no complaints about the conditions of detention and did not request consular assistance.

Vaskelevicius said the young woman should be put on the next flight to Lithuania.

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