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Israel to soon release Maori TV journalists detained on Gaza flotilla ship

first_img(Maori Television reporter Ruwani Perera (pictured) and video journalist Jake Bryant are safe and will soon be allowed to return to New Zealand, the network said Monday. Photo courtesy of Maori Television)APTN National NewsA Maori Television reporter and video journalist aboard a ship headed to Gaza and intercepted by Israeli authorities early Monday could soon be allowed to return home, according to the network.Maori Television said New Zealand’s Foreign Affairs Ministry informed the network that reporter Ruwani Perera and video journalist Jake Bryant were safe and would soon be allowed to return to New Zealand, the network said Monday.Read release here: MFAT confirms safety of Native Affairs reporter and cameramanPerera and Bryant were on the ship “Marianne” which was headed to Gaza. The ship was intercepted by Israeli forces early Monday morning local time. Two other ships with the flotilla turned back after the interception.Maori Television said New Zealand officials recently spoke with Perera. The reporter told the officials that Israeli authorities treated them with “respect” and she was not required to sign any documents, the network said.The network said it was working with New Zealand officials from the country’s embassy in Ankara, Turkey.Israeli authorities seized Perera’s phone which will be turned over to New Zealand authorities in three days.About 20 people were on the ship intercepted by Israeli authorities.The Marianne was part of the “Freedom Flotilla Coalition” which was carrying humanitarian aid to Gaza. The Maori Television journalists were invited by Kia Ora Gaza to document the mission.“Throughout all of this the planning and the processes, the safety of our crew was paramount to Maori Television and the safe return of our crew is the priority,” said Maramena Roderick, Maori Television’s Head of News and Current Affairs. “We appreciate the assistance of embassy officials to bring our crew home. The contingency plans we had all worked so carefully are now falling into place.”Perera, a Native Affairs reporter with Maori Television, and Bryant boarded the flotilla in Sicily, Italy, about 10 days ago, the network said.The network said Perera and Bryant were expected to arrive back in New Zealand within days.Perera is a 12-year veteran journalist who previously worked for Television New Zealand before joining Maori [email protected]last_img read more

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