'Wallander' author tells of ordeal on Gaza convoy

'We heard gunfire, then at 4.30 in the morning, they came for us'

Henning Mankell, the Swedish crime writer whose books inspired the Wallander TV series, has accused Israel of going out "to commit murder" and called for apartheid-style sanctions to be imposed following this week's storming of the Gaza aid convoy.

The 62-year-old author, who was one of 11 Swedes on the six-vessel flotilla, held an impromptu press conference in Berlin, the day after being deported from Israel following 24 hours in a cell.

"The Israelis were out to commit murder – I don't understand why they used so much force. It was the most stupid thing they could do," he told journalists.

Mr Mankell's vessel was a small Swedish cargo ship, Sofia, which was laden with cement and prefab homes. He described how Israeli patrol boats and helicopters suddenly appeared while the aid convoy was still in international waters and began boarding the Turkish cruise ship, Mavi Marmara.

"We could see the commandos landing on the big ship from helicopters, about a kilometre away from where we were. We could hear gunfire but they had cut all radio links so we could not talk to them," he said. "Then at 4.30 in the morning they came for our vessel."

Mr Mankell, whose father-in-law was the late film director Ingmar Bergman, said commandos wearing masks and brandishing machine guns stormed their ship while most of the passengers were gathering on the bridge.

"They got very aggressive and ordered us to come down. There was one older man who was a little slow, so the Israelis attacked him with an electric stun gun. He was in a lot of pain. So was another passenger who was covered in paint after being hit with a paint ball missile," the author recounted.

The commandos searched the ship thoroughly and emerged waving a razor and a metal-box cutting tool, which they claimed were "weapons" intended to be used against them. All the passengers were then herded into a group, with armed guards standing watch as the ship was taken to Israel.

"When we got off... we were made to walk down a corridor of armed commandos who filmed all of us with cameras. They stole my mobile phone, my money, my clothes and my credit cards," Mr Mankell said. The author said he was held in a cell for 24 hours along with an MP from Sweden's Green Party, and then deported "without his socks".

Earlier in an interview with Swedish tabloid Expressen, the crime writer was asked if he had any regrets. "Absolutely not," he said.

He said the time had come to introduce sanctions on the Jewish state. "We've tried many other things but the Israelis refuse to listen. I think we should use our experience from South Africa. We know the sanctions had a great effect. It took a long time but it worked."

Mr Mankell told his Berlin audience that the Israelis had clearly recognised him. An intelligence officer was detailed to accompany him, and after appearing in court, where he was accused of "illegally entering" Israel, the judge confided: "I know your books and I like them."

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment
musicOfficial chart could be moved to accommodate Friday international release day
Sport
Wes Brown is sent-off
football
News
i100
Sport
Italy celebrate scoring their second try
six nations
Sport
Glenn Murray celebrates scoring against West Ham
footballWest Ham 1 Crystal Palace 3
Arts and Entertainment
Drake continues to tease ahead of the release of his new album
music
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Bookkeeper / Office Co-ordinator

£9 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This role is based within a small family run ...

Recruitment Genius: Designer - Print & Digital

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Design and marketing agenc...

Recruitment Genius: Quantity Surveyor

£46000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This property investment firm are lookin...

Recruitment Genius: Telesales / Telemarketing Executive - OTE £30k / £35k plus

£18000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company specialises provid...

Day In a Page

Chelsea vs Tottenham: Harry Kane was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope

Harry Kane interview

The striker was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope
The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

Michael Calvin's Last Word

For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?
HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review