MEDIA RELEASE: Norwegian Trade Union, Industri Energi, is the latest body to drop controversial security company G4S complicit in Israeli prisons & human rights abuses
The Norwegian trade union, Industri Energi, has terminated its contract with the controversial security company G4S in protest of the firm’s role in providing equipment and services to Israeli prisons and illegal Israeli settlements. Industri Energi, a Norwegian trade union for workers in the energy and heavy industry sectors, had been using the company to provide security at its offices in Stavanger in the south of Norway. Announcing that the contract will now be terminated, union leader Leif Sande told Norwegian newspaper Klassekampen that the boycott of G4S move was taken as “an act of solidarity with the struggle of the Palestinian people.”
The announcement by Norway's Industri Energi comes in the same week that G4S has come under scrutiny in South Africa for controversy at the Mangaung Correctional Services. Following the stabbing of a prison employee, South Africa's Department of Correctional Services has served 29 notices of penalties against G4S for incidents of violence at the Mangaung Correctional Centre in the Free State province. According to EWN News
the penalty for each incident is R36000 and the company could be paying a sum of R1,44 million when enforced.
Kwara Kekana of BDS South Africa welcomed the news from Norway and also added: "we call on all South African government departments including the Department of Correctional Services, universities including in particular the University of Cape Town
, NGOs and private businesses to end their ties with G4S, a company complicit in Israeli human rights abuses." BDS South Africa is due to launch a campaign around Palestinian political prisoners and specifically against G4S later this month.
ABOUT G4S AND ITS ROLE IN ISRAELI PRISONS & HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES
The international security company, G4S, was contracted in 2007 to provide and maintain security equipment at Israeli prisons. The equipment includes monitoring systems, cameras and control rooms in which Palestinians are detained without trial and subjected to torture (http://stopadcampaign.com/?p=271
G4S provides security systems to Israel's Ketziot, Damon and Meggido prisons, as well as Israel's Russian Compound (Al-Moskobiyeh) and Kishon (Al-Jalameh) detention and interrogation centers. G4S is responsible for the control and monitoring systems of these Israeli prison facilities, in addition to visitation systems and CCTV systems. G4S also provides security systems and a central control room in Israel's Hasharon-Rimonim prison. Israel's Al-Moskobiyeh and Al-Jalameh interrogation centers, serviced by G4S, are notorious for their use of torture, including of children
. For instance, earlier this year, Palestinian detainee Arafat Jaradat died as a result of torture endured at the hands of Israeli interrogators at Israel's Al-Jalameh interrogation center. Palestinian "administrative detainee" Loai Ashqar had three of his vertebrae broken due to torture sustained in Israel's Al-Jalameh interrogation center in 2005, permanently paralyzing his left leg.
In addition G4S installed and operates a central command room and peripheral defense system in Israel's Ofer Prison in the occupied Palestinian West Bank, which also houses the Israeli military courts that issues "administrative detention" orders (the equivalent of Apartheid South Africa's "Detention without trial"
). All of the Israeli prisons and detention centers serviced by G4S house and have housed Palestinain "administrative detainees". As of 1 March 2013, there were 70 Palestinian administrative detainees in Israel's Ketziot, 56 in Ofer, and 27 in Megiddo. Israel’s policy of holding Palestinian political prisoners from the occupied Palestinian West Bank and Gaza in Israeli territory is illegal under international law, specifically Article 76 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which prohibits the transfer of prisoners from occupied
BOYCOTT SUCCESSES AGAINST G4S & ITS COMPLICITY IN ISRAEL
By terminating their contract with G4S, Industri Energi, joins
the University of Oslo, Dundee University Student Union, the UK energy company Good Energy, several businesses and various human rights organizations across Europe who have all recently also cut ties with G4S due to the company's complicity in Israel's illegal settlements, illegal detention and torture of Palestinian political prisoners as well as G4S' violation of the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel campaign.
In 2005 Palestinians issued a call to the international community for a program and campaign of boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS)
to be applied against Israel as a non-violent method to pressure Israel to end its violations of international law, respect Palestinian human rights and engage in fair negotiations for a just peace. This Palestinian call for BDS is based and inspired by the successful boycott of Apartheid South Africa.
G4S has sought to deflect pressure from campaigners by announcing that it "intends" to pull out of some of its contracts relating to its operations in Israel's illegal settlements (but not from Israel's prisons) by 2015. However, to date, G4S has not withdrawn from a single contract and has not made any public commitments or statements about its role in Israeli prisons. The company remains deeply complicit in Israel’s abhorrent prison system.
ISSUED BY MUHAMMED DESAI ON BEHALF OF BDS SOUTH AFRICA
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Kwara Kekana (South Africa): email@example.com / 0720255959
Muhammed Desai (South Africa): firstname.lastname@example.org / 0842119988
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