[Boycott - Other News]
G4S Protest - Delivering the voice of the oppressed prisoners
3 February 2013
On Friday 1st February 2013 human rights protesters held vigil outside the UK head office of G4S in London to protest against the private British-Danish security company's complicity in the torture of Palestinian children in Israeli prisons.
Every person we spoke to was very supportive of the cause of the prisoners campaign and shocked at G4S's complicity.
One gentleman stood in the bitter cold for 10 minutes reading every word of every paragraph on the detailed placard on G4S and the prisoners banner before approaching us to register his disgust at G4S and Israel
G4S provides security systems to help Israel secure prisons and interrogation centres where Palestinian children are being caged and tortured.
These include Ofer prison in the occupied territory where G4S provides the perimeter defense system and the central command control room for the entire facility. At Ofer, children have been sexually assaulted by interrogators and threatened with rape and sodomy with an object in order to force a confession, usually to stone throwing. Throwing a stone carries a penalty of up to 20 years in prison.
G4S also secures the notorious Al Jalame interrogation centre where Defence for Children International reported children are locked in small filthy cells in solitary confinement, some for 65 days! Their only escape being the interrogation room where they are shackled by their hands and feet to a chair whilst being abused, sometimes for hours. G4S provides the security systems that keep these torture dens operational.
The action was part of the Palestinian Prisoners Campaign launched by Innovative Minds (inminds.com) and the Islamic Human Rights Commission (ihrc.org) which aims to raise awareness for the plight of Palestinian prisoners and build solidarity for their struggle and work towards their freedom.
The cold is no barrier to dedicated campaigners for Palestinian rights
The leaflets went like 'hot cakes' and we soon ran out
The protest was also to show solidarity with the Palestinian hunger strikers.
Ayman Sharawna and Samer Issawi have both been without food for over 6 months. Both Ayman and Samer were released as part of the Shalit swap deal Israel made, but once the captured Israeli soldier Shalit was released by the Palestinians, Israel reneged on the deal and re-arrested both men. To protest both men have been on hunger strike, after 6 months without food both Ayman and Samer are near death. They have lost most of their body weight. In order to survive, their bodies are feeding on its own muscle tissue. They have been described as skeletons shackled to wheelchairs. In their frailty they have had to endure violence from the guards and abuse from the Israeli doctors. Just recently Samer was savagely attacked in the courtroom in front of the judge just because he went to touch the hand of his mother whom he had not seen for so long. They punished him by breaking his ribs.
Jafar Azzidine, Tarek Qaadan and Yousef Yassin were abducted during the mass arrests following the recent attack on Gaza. They are being imprisoned under Israel's infamous administrative detention which means they have not been charged with anything and there is no trial and yet they are locked up indefinitely on a rolling 6 month prison sentence. In order to protest their illegal imprisonment they have gone on an open hunger strike for over 2 months, surviving only on water. G4S provides the central command control room of Migiddo prison where hunger strikers Yousef Yassin, Jafaz Azzidine and Tarek Quudan were held before their health became critical.
Samer's family have specifically asked for action against G4S. His sister Shireen Issawi, in a message asked the protesters to "deliver the voice of the oppressed prisoners and hold this company G4S accountable for its responsibility towards these prisoners and its partnership to the occupation in its inhumane practices. It must stop providing these supplies to the occupation..". her full message is included below.
In the name of Allah,
Love and respect to all of you, brother and sister,
who are fighting for Samer
whose battle of the empty stomach [hunger strike]
is now for 185 consecutive days.
You tell the whole world that Samer is not alone.
Samer’s fight is of every free man rejecting injustice.
Samer is suffering greatly in the so-called hospital, Asaf Harofeh;
he is suffering from medical neglect and is left shackled
to his bed day and night without any regard for his
critical condition and the importance of treating humanely..
We greet the demonstrators against G4S
that provides equipment for the prison administration.
G4S realizes that they are used in non-humanitarian ways
against Palestinian prisoners.
Deliver the voice of the oppressed prisoners
and hold this company G4S accountable
for its responsibility towards these prisoners
and its partnership to the occupation in its inhumane practices.
It must stop providing these supplies to the occupation...
Freedom for our prisoners; for our heroes
Shireen Issawi (sister of Palestinian hunger striker Samer Issawi)
The action was about delivering that message from the hunger strikers to G4S - stop your partnership with the Israeli occupation, stop your complicity in the oppression of the Palestinian people.
The UK head office of G4S is located on the fifth floor of the Southside building in Victoria Street which is adjacent to a parade of busy shop making it an ideal stop to inform the British public of G4S's crimes in Palestine and about the plight of Palestinian prisoners.
Although it was a bitterly chilly day with a freezing wind it was amazing to see so many people take time out of their busy days to stop and read our placards - one gentleman stood there for 10 minutes reading every word of every paragraph on the detailed placard on G4S and the prisoners banner before approaching us to register his disgust at G4S and Israel.
One lady was so shocked at the treatment of children in prisons secured by G4S that she insisted on going inside to complain directly to G4S even though she was lugging a suitcase at the time! The Southside building also houses several NHS (National Health Service) offices, staff from these offices where shocked that they were sharing a building with such a criminal entity responsible for causing pain and suffering to children. One of the staff leaving the building stopped to tell us that he had been to Palestine and after what he saw there he could never support Israel.
The uptake of leaflets was fantastic, they went 'hot cakes', and we ran out very soon. A portable PA system was trialled for the first time, it was a great hit as the short speeches intermingled with pro-Palestinian music created a great atmosphere, a space for people to feel comfortable to stop, read our material and talk to us. It also helped attract the attention of the G4S staff inside the building.
The protest was a great success with one of the newspapers covering it, the article also catches G4S in a lie when they deny any links to Israeli prisons where 'children or people in administrative detention' are kept (see below).
Our next protest in two weeks time will be outside the BBC, exact date and time to be announced closer to the time - please join us. Latest information will be available on facebook and twitter @InmindsCom
One lady was so shocked at the treatment of children in prisons secured by G4S that she insisted on going inside to complain directly to G4S even though she was lugging a suitcase at the time!
Protesters target G4S over prisons role
Thursday 31 January 2013
Campaigners will protest outside the London offices of private security firm G4S tomorrow over its role in the illegal detention of Palestinians in Israeli jails.
G4S holds contracts to equip jails in which Palestinian political prisoners, including children, are held without charge or trial in "administrative detention."
Campaigners said such imprisonment breaks international rules on the right to a fair trial, including the Fourth Geneva Convention.
More than 1,600 Palestinian political prisoners staged a mass hunger strike last year and several are keeping up their protest.
Ayman Sharawna and Samer Issawi have rejected food for more than six months, while Yousef Yassin, Jafar Azzidine and Tarek Qa'adan have clocked up two months.
Samer's sister Shireen Issawi, herself a former prisoner, said: "Deliver the voice of the oppressed prisoners and hold this company G4S accountable for its responsibility towards these prisoners and its partnership to the occupation in its inhumane practices."
A G4S spokesman admitted that the company works in Israeli jails.
But he denied involvement with prisons that hold children or people in administrative detention.
Great spot for leafleting
Southside building - home to G4S
Busy shopping parade attracts a lot of attention
Behind the plush offices of Southside building in Victoria lurks the purveyors of security to Israels torture dens.
Also Of Interest
Page URL: http://www.inminds.co.uk/article.php?id=10581