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- G4S responds to public anger but remains complicit in Israel’s abhorrent prison system
- Palestinian civil society and human rights organisations mark Palestinian Prisoners’ Day with call for action against Israeli prison contractor G4S
G4S is a British-Danish private security company that provides services and equipment to Israeli prisons, checkpoints, the Apartheid Wall and the Israeli police.
In 2007, G4S signed a contract with the Israeli Prison Authority to provide security systems and other services for major Israeli prisons. G4S provides systems for the Ketziot and Megiddo prisons, which hold Palestinian political prisoners from occupied Palestinian territory inside Israel. Article 76 of the Fourth Geneva Convention prohibits the transfer of prisoners from occupied territory into the territory of the occupier.
G4S also provides equipment for Ofer prison, located in the occupied West Bank, and for Kishon and Moskobiyyeh detention facilities, at which human rights organisations have documented systematic torture and ill treatment of Palestinian prisoners, including child prisoners. Defence for Children-Palestine (DCI-Palestine) has released an urgent appeal to end the practice of holding Palestinian children from the West Bank in solitary confinement in facilities in Israel. The organization has documented 53 such cases since 2008.
As Palestinian political prisoners begun a mass hunger strike on April 17, Palestinian organisations called for action to be taken to hold G4S accountable for its involvement with Israel’s unlawful detention of Palestinians.
G4S is also complicit with other aspects of Israel’s system of apartheid over the Palestinian people. G4S provides equipment and services to Israeli checkpoints in the West Bank that form part of the route of Israel’s illegal Wall and to the terminals isolating the occupied and besieged territory of Gaza. G4S has also signed contracts for equipment and services for the West Bank Israeli Police headquarters and to private businesses based in illegal Israeli settlements. A panel of legal experts concluded that G4S may be criminally liable for its activities in support of Israel’s illegal Wall and other violations of international law.
G4S has attempted to deflect the criticism it has been facing by announcing that it intends to end some aspects of its involvement in Israel’s illegal settlements by 2015. However, this response is unsatisfactory. The public announcements make no mention of the participation of G4S in the illegal detention and torture of Palestinian political prisoners inside Israel. Additionally, the announcement mentions only some aspects of the company’s involvement in Israel’s illegal settlements and pledges only to exit them at some undetermined point in the future.
Solidarity activists have already started to take effective action against G4S:
- A student-led campaign at the University of Oslo pressured the university to announce that it will terminate its contract with G4S in July 2013.
- Pressure by campaign groups and members of the European Parliament was followed by a decision by the European Union not to renew its contract with G4S for security services at some of its Brussels premises.
- In the UK, mainstream newspapers prominently covered a demonstration that took place outside the G4S annual meeting and have pressured a major energy company to end ties with the company.
- In Denmark, a major bank and several large NGOs have cut their ties to the company because of its ties to Israeli apartheid.
G4S’ activities in support of Israeli violations of international law are to be investigated by UK offices of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), which are based in a government department
This round-up was published in conjunction with a Palestinian BDS National Committee statement looking ahead to 2014.
Two major UK universities have opted not to award G4S control of campus security services following student campaigns criticizing the company. G4S has a major role in providing security and equipment to Israeli prisons, settlements and checkpoints.
COSATU statement on the privatization of prisons The Congress of South African Trade Unions is completely appalled to hear that the private security company, G4S, that is running the Mangaung Correctional Centre in the Free State, has mercilessly fired more than … Continue reading
Dozens of activists took to the streets to inform people in the area around the European institutions about G4S’ complicity in the detention of Palestinian children