After spending more than a week in an Israeli prison, former U.S. Rep. Cynthia McKinney was released Tuesday and returned to the United States.

The former Atlanta congresswomen was among 21 human rights activists – called the Free Gaza Movement – imprisoned last Tuesday. They were captured by the Israeli Navy after allegedly trying to sail through a navy blockage in the region.

McKinney on Tuesday landed in a New York airport after her release. Her supporters contend that she and other activists were in international waters and free to pass through the blockade. In a letter sent from the Israeli jail on Saturday, McKinney explained her ordeal. She maintained that the Israelis threatened to fire on her boat.

“[I am one of] the Free Gaza 21, human rights activists currently imprisoned for trying to take medical supplies to Gaza; building supplies, and even crayons for children. I had a suitcase full of crayons for children … While we were on our way, the Israelis high-jacked and arrested us because we wanted to give crayons to the children in Gaza.”

-Delores McCain