Distinction in travel journalism
Is independent travel journalism important to you?
Click here to keep it independent

5 Jul, 2013

Activists Protest G4S Security Company’s Cooperation with Israel


BRUSSELS, July 1, 2013 (WAFA) – Dozens of activists took off to the streets of Brussels on Friday to inform people about a British-Danish security company based in the UK that is involved in the detention of Palestinian children.

The activists denounced the fact that G4S, a private military and security company that is allegedly involved in human rights abuses and violations of international law, is still being awarded contracts even when its complicity in the detention and torture of children by Israel has been documented extensively.

G4S, which has operations in more than 125 countries providing security services to government facilities, provides the security and custodial services to the Israeli Occupation Forces.

Many European Members of the European Parliament came out in support of the demonstration at which Addameer, a renowned Palestinian human rights organization was represented by Sahar Francis, stressed the urgency of the matter.

Irish MEP, Paul Murphy said: “I`m here to support the protest against an ongoing contracting services to group for security G4S in European Parliament and in Luxembourg in particular.”

“G4S is involved in management and running of many prisons in Israel where Palestinian prisoners are held,” he clarified.

Murphy pointed out that “G4S is involved actively in the oppression of Palestinians.”

He stressed the importance to mobilize and stand against such companies, which profit from the Israeli occupation. “We need to build a big movement within Europe opposing to those who profit from the occupation.”

G4S’ provision of services to the Israeli police, Ministry of Defense, Prison Service, army, as well as to businesses in settlements increased alarm among activists in many countries because it as well provides security services to the detention and interrogation facilities of the “Russian Compound” in Jerusalem and the “al-Jalameh” detention centre next to Haifa where Palestinian teens are interrogated.

The latest UN report on the Rights of the Child confirmed that, “ Palestinian children arrested by (Israeli) military and police are systematically subject to degrading treatment, and often to acts of torture, are interrogated in Hebrew, a language they did not understand, and sign confessions in Hebrew in order to be released.”

In March 2013 the European Parliament had issued a resolution which condemns Israel for using torture and calling for a fact-finding mission to investigate Israeli prisons.

G4S renewed its contract with the European Parliament for its Luxembourg properties, in a deal worth 48 million Euros; 15.9 million Euros more than the 2008-2012 tender.

In January last year, just before the third armed hold up in the parliament, the European Commission awarded its security work to G4S for 237.8 million Euros, ending its previous arrangement with Securitas.

They therefore called the EU institutions to end their cooperation with G4S and actually start an independent investigation towards this corporation.