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#Bett2017 - Inminds Protests HP Complicity In Torture & Killing Of Palestinian Children & Demands Freedom For Mohammed Al-Halabi
28 January 2017
On Friday 27th January 2017, Inminds human rights group protested at the inclusion of Hewlett Packard at the British Educational Training and Technology show BETT 2017 in London. BETT is the worlds leading education technology event which attracts over 35,000 teachers and others in the education sector from around the world. Hewlett Packard is a company implicated in the torture and killing of children in Palestine.
Inminds chair Abbas Ali said "The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute has identified Hewlett Packard as one of the top 20 arms companies in the US. They are guilty of providing the IT backbone for the Israel military which according to UNICEF destroyed 258 schools and kindergardens in Gaza in 2014, slaughtering 521 children in the process. HP is also guilty of providing essential IT services and infrastructure that keeps Israel's dungeons and torture dens operational. This is where, according to the United Nations Rights of the Child, Israel tortures and sexually abuses young children. We are shocked that a company complicit in these war crimes against children is invited to a teachers educational event. The only thing they teach is death, they have no place in the classroom."
The protest was also in support of Palestinian aid worker Mohammed Khalil al-Halabi who has been imprisoned by Israel.
Inminds chair Abbas Ali added "We are demanding the immediate release of Mohammed Khalil al-Halabi, who has been languishing in a HP powered Israeli dungeon since June 2016. Mohammed Halabi has been awarded "Humanitarian Hero" award by the United Nations for his work with children in Gaza for the Christian charity World Vision. With his arrest and the freezing of their bank accounts in Jerusalem by Israel, World Vision has been forced to closed down operations in Gaza, immediately putting at risk the the lives of the 40,000 children that it provides for in Gaza. Israel is not content with bombing children in Gaza, it is now after those children that survived the slaughter and those humanitarians who care for them!"
A message from the family of Mohammed Khalil al-Halabi was read out at the protest. Mohammed's brother Loay al-Halabi urged for international solidarity with his brother: "My brother has been incarcerated for 7 months and tortured for 53 consecutive days.. In the name of justice, I urge all activists around the world, to stand beside us in demanding freedom for my brother.."
The audience of teachers and educators was deeply sympathetic towards the protest. Head of IT at a London University told us they were cancelling their order with HP. Many educators from around the world congratulated us for the protest, some hugging us. One compassionate man upon seeing the banners detailing the killing and torture of women and children by Israel burst intro uncontrollable tears, he emptied the notes from his wallet to give to us, we of course could not accept his generosity in that state. Over a thousand leaflets were snapped up very quickly, with people, for a change, coming up to us asking for them.
There was one negative incident when a man violently attacked one of our banners, throwing his books at it. The banner "Humanity before profit" showed the blood soaked white shroud wrapping the dead body of one-year old Noha Mesleh being held up by his weeping father, Noha had been killed along with 15 others in an Israeli targeted strike on a UN school in Beit Hanun, in Gaza on 24th July 2014. Apparently the killing of a baby didn't unsettle the man, but our exposing that crime in a public arena was too much for him to take. He later told police the books had just slipped out of his hands and flew 5 metres through the air, hitting the banner by mistake.
As usual we did have problems with the private security and the police who were acting on their behalf to enforce ExCel's demands on us. They didn't want us to interact with the visitors to the event, insisting we stay caged in a pen far away from the entrance. This of course was unacceptable to us, we were there to talk to our peers and share with them what the corporate media hides from them. Despite the police's continued bullying at the behest of a mysterious head of ExCel security who kept himself hidden in his cctv control room issuing orders but refusing to come down to talk to us, we declined their offer to enter the pen.
Inminds chair Abbas Ali concluded "With HP the battle is about reputational damage. When people realise HP isn't an innocent printer company, their brand will suffer, and with it their profits. And when profits suffer companies are forced to make decisions which they should have made in the first place out of a sense of common humanity. Our job here today was simply to reveal HP's dirty secrets to an intelligent, caring and influential audience. I think we succeeded."
VIDEO: #Bett2017 - Inminds Protests HP Complicity In Torture & Killing Of Palestinian Children & Demands Freedom For Mohammed Al-Halabi
For full unedited speeches see https://youtu.be/-oN2FWnBR18
Chalk representation of a childrens cell at Israel's HP powered Al-Jalame prison near Haifa
We are here today outside the ExCel Centre in London where Bett 2017 Education event is being held to protest Hewlett Packards inclusion in this event.
Most people think of HP as an innocent office supplies and printer company, but the reality is far darker. HP is one of the top 20 arms companies in the US with arms sales worth $3 billion in 2011. The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute has done the research and when they say arms sales they define that as goods & services designed specifically for military purpose, and doesn't include general purpose equipment like office computers. They also state that the figure may be an underestimate as it doesn't include classified contracts that HP might be involved in.
Bett 2017 is meant to be an education / schools show, why has a leading arms dealer been invited?
HP might not make bullets or bombs, but what they make is far more deadly. They specialize in developing the IT infrastructure that is essential for a modern military to function. And who do they make these specialised killing systems for? Well Hewlett-Packard operates in 178 countries around the world, but in HP's own words "Israel is one of the few countries where HP has a massive presence.. In the past decade, HP has invested over $6 billion in the acquisition of Israeli companies, including the establishment of production plants.. HP is the second largest investor in Israeli IT."
HP - Israeli Military
In 2011 HP won Israel's largest ever servers tender, worth an estimated $140 million. Under the tender HP implements and manages the entire server farm of the Israeli Ministry of Defense and the Israeli army. Those HP servers form the IT backbone of the entire Israeli war machine which has been found guilty of war crimes and possible crimes against humanity by the UN Human Rights Council.
According to the United Nations children’s fund UNICEF, in Israel’s summer 2014 attack on Gaza, 258 Palestinian schools and kindergardens were hit, resulting in the slaughter of over 500 children. A further 3,374 children were severally injured – nearly a third of whom now suffer permanent disability. More than 1,500 children were orphaned, and hundreds of thousands were left in trauma.
And this is not a new phenomenon, for the past 14 years every 60 hours Israel kills one Palestinian child!
HP makes such slaughter possible with its strategic support of Israel's killing machine.
We want to ask Hewlett Packard - what of the children in Palestine? Your technology and services are killing Palestinian children. How does that fit your claim of inspiring children to learn through technology? Every 60 hours you help kill one more child, imagine from the moment the doors opened for Bett 2017 to when they close on Saturday, more than one more Palestinian child will have been killed!
Shame on you HP! Shame on you HP!
HP - Israeli Navy - Blockade of Gaza
In 2009 HP won the contract to supply all computer equipment to the Israeli military. In another contract HP supply configuration management database system for the Israeli Army's secret IT unit. HP is also implementing and assimilating an enterprise resource planning and management system for the Israeli Army.
HP has been equipping the Israeli military for 11 years, since 2006 when it was first contracted to provide the IT infrastructure for the Israeli navy in a pilot for implementing across the entire army, thus helping the Israeli navy execute its illegal blockade of Gaza which also began in 2006.
Documents from Israel's defence ministry revealed that Israel uses a meticulously calculated cold-blooded calorie count to limit food entering Gaza to enforce a starvation diet on Gaza where people are always starving but not quiet dead from starvation. When hungry Gazaan's go fishing in their own waters, their boats are attacked by the Israeli navy and their fishermen are abducted. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay, has stated that Israel’s blockade of Gaza is illegal, that “International humanitarian law prohibits starvation of civilians as a method of warfare and it is also prohibited to impose collective punishment on civilians.”
We want to ask Hewlett Packard – are you proud of your role in the starvation of the people of Gaza, over half of which are children under 15 years old?
Shame on you HP! Shame on you HP!
HP - Israeli Prisons
Hewlett Packard also provides the essential IT services and infrastructure that enable the Israeli Prison Service to function. Their prisons and interrogation centres where Palestinian children are caged and tortured are powered by HP.
Last year between Oct 2015 and Aug 2016 Israel abducted and caged 2,320 Palestinian children, some as young as 11 years old - that's more than one child taken from their parents every 4 hours! Just imagine for a second what that means – every 4 hours one child is taken from their parents.. how many children will be taken whilst we are here at Bett?
What happens to these children? Figures for Jerusalem show that 40% of the children were sexually abused by Israeli soldiers during arrest or interrogation. During interrogation 75% of Palestinian children detained by Israel are physically tortured.
United Nations 'Rights of the Child' report
The United Nations "Rights Of The Child" report documents the brutal torture of Palestinian children as standard practice during interrogations in order to coerce confessions, usually to stone throwing which carries a sentence of up to 20 years' imprisonment.
In the words of the United Nations Rights of the Child report 4th July 2013 children are “systematically subject to degrading treatment, and often to acts of torture.. physical and verbal violence, humiliation, painful restraints, hooding of the head and face in a sack, threatened with death, physical violence, and sexual assault against themselves or members of their family, restricted access to toilet, food and water. These crimes are perpetrated from the time of arrest, during transfer and interrogation, to obtain a confession but also on an arbitrary basis as testified by several Israeli soldiers as well as during pre-trial detention..”
HP - Torture
The Public Committee Against Torture in Israel states that over a 1000 complaints of torture have been submitted but not a single complaint has led to a criminal investigation, let alone a trial or a conviction. Israeli law has never criminalized torture and whilst Israel is a signatory to the UN Conventions Against Torture it insists that it doesn't apply to Palestinians. United Nations funded Treatment and Rehabilitation Center for Victims of Torture for Occupied Palestinian Territory, in 2014, treated 845 Palestinian victims of torture including 317 women and 135 children.
Hewlett Packard keeps those torture dens and dungeons where Palestinian children are caged and abused, operational by the IT infrastructure it provides to the Israeli Prison Service. These dungeons and torture dens are where Palestinian children as young as 12 years old are brutally tortured and caged in 1m x 3m dark holes in the grounds for months without charge or trial!
We want to ask HP, do you feel any shame in coming to a children’s education event whilst at the same time you are facilitating the torture of children in Palestine?
Shame on you HP! Shame on you HP!
Tortured to death
72 Palestinian prisoners have been tortured to death in Israeli prisons since 1967. The latest being father of five young children, Raed Abdul-Salam al-Jabari, who died following interrogation at Eshel prison on 9th Sep 2014. He had been arrested over a simple car accident involving an illegal Israeli settler. The Israeli Prison Service claimed he had committed suicide by hanging himself in his cell but the autopsy revealed he had been savagely tortured with repeated blows to the head and face causing brain haemorrhage. His neck showed no signs of hanging.
HP keeps these hell holes operational with its IT infrastructure, services and servers.
Shame on you HP! Shame on you HP!
HP Prison Management System
In 2012 HP provided the central servers for the operational system of the Israeli prison service ("Tzohar") and its on-going maintenance. In a contract worth $35 million, HP has also executed a project for e-mail storage and archive for the Israeli prison service.
HP developed the Kidma information system for the Israeli Prison Service which includes the prisoners management system and intelligence subs systems, helping the occupation keep illegal records on Palestinians it has abducted and their families.
The United Nations Committee on the Rights of Children has reported that Palestinian child prisoners are often coerced to confess by sexually threatening their family members or themselves. One such case is that of Ali Shamlawi. At age 16 he was abducted from his home by Israeli soldiers. He was caged in solitary confinement for two weeks in a filthy 1m x 3m windowless underground cell 3 floors below the surface, and then violently tortured. Then the interrogator, having looked up Ali's family details realised he has a younger sister, so he sexually threatened Ali’s younger sister to coerce a confession out of Ali of throwing stones. Once they had the false confession they sentenced Ali to 15 years imprisonment. Ali has been in prison for over three and half years now.
HP is fully complicit in these crimes.
Shame on you HP! Shame on you HP!
What to do?
Many of us attending this education show will be parents and teachers. We all have a responsibility and choices to make. The clearest message we can send Hewlett Packard that we dont approve of their complicity in the murder and torture of children in Palestine is by boycotting their products and letting them know why. As you go in please visit the HP stand and tell them you do not support the killing and torture of children, including Palestinian children, and will be boycotting their products until they stop their complicity with Israel's war crimes. Thank you.
Boycott Israel! Boycott HP! Free Palestine!
Mohammed al –Halabi
Today there are over 6000 Palestinian political prisoners, including women and children, many caged without a charge or trial. One of them is Mohammed al-Halabi. Mohammed is a renowned humanitarian aid worker in Gaza, heading the Christian charity World Vision’s Gaza operation. UNICEF reports that Israel’s attack on Gaza in 2014 left hundreds of thousands of children in trauma. Mohammed works with these traumatised children , creating safe spaces for them to try and rehabilitate them back from trauma. He also helps provide basic humanitarian assistance, under his leadership World Vision provides for 40,000 children in Gaza. In 2014 Mohammed al –Halabi was honoured by the United Nations as its “Humanitarian Hero”. In an interview for his award Mohammed was asked what was his most memorable experience during his work.
“One of the children in our programs in 2009 had lost two of her young cousins and her hair was burnt after a white phosphorous bomb has fallen on her home. She was severely traumatized, was isolated in her room and was not talking to anyone. A few months after she joined our programs, she became a leader for a group of children and I met her while she was educating them about child rights and singing for peace. I was so touched with the experience and will never forget the happiness I felt at this moment.”
Whilst on his way home to Gaza from a World Vision meeting in Jerusalem, Mohammed al-Halabi was taken by soldiers at the crossing to Gaza. He disappeared for 21 days, prevented from seeing a lawyer, he was severely tortured. Bound to a small chair, the Israeli interrogators beat him senseless. But he still refused to sign their ludicrous confession of having diverted $50 million from World Visions humanitarian fund to Hamas.
World Vision International CEO Kevin Jenkins pointed to discrepancies in the Shin Bet charges: "World Vision's cumulative operating budget in Gaza for the past 10 years was approximately $22.5m, which makes the alleged amount of up to $50m being diverted hard to reconcile." He also pointed out that Mohammed al-Halabi "was the manager of our Gaza operations only since October 2014. Before that time he managed only portions of the Gaza budget. World Vision's accountability processes cap the amount individuals in management positions at his level to a signing authority of US$15,000,".
In response to these facts, the Israel foreign affairs spokesman Emmanual Nachshon simply replied it was irrelevant. The reality is that for Israel the facts don’t matter, this is not about Mohammed al-Halabi, it’s part of a carefully planned attack on humanitarian providers in Gaza. A Save the Children staff worker, and also a United Nations Development Programme worker have also been similarly accused of similar baseless charges. With Mohammed al-Halabi’s arrest, Israel has frozen World Visions bank accounts in Jerusalem. This has forced World Vision to closed down operations in Gaza, immediately putting at risk the the lives of the 40,000 children that it provides for in Gaza. Israel is not content with bombing children in Gaza, it is now after those children that survived the slaughter and those humanitarians who care for them.
We have a message from the family of Mohammed al-Halabi in Gaza:
Message from family of Mohammed al –Halabi
I am Mohammed Al Halabi’s brother Loay.
My brother has been incarcerated for 7 months and tortured for 53 consecutive days.
His crime? His crime consisted of a having a profound humanitarian desire to help all who need help; from the children to the patients to the fishermen and the farmers.
For all that, Mohammed has paid a very steep price.
In 2014, the UN named my brother as Humanitarian of the year, and I urge all peace activists around the world to consider him as such in subsequent years.
In the name of justice, I urge all activists around the world, to stand beside us in demanding freedom for my brother.
Free Mohammed Al Halabi, free all Palestinian political prisoners, free Palestine.
We are here to demand the immediate and unconditional release of the United Nations Humanitarian Hero Mohaamed al-Halabi!
Free Mohammed al-Halabi!
Free Mohammed al-Halabi!
HP Fact #1
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HP Fact #3 & #4
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HP Fact #7
We decided to decline the police's offer to cage us in a pen
New HP Campaign Leaflet
In this protest we launched our new HP Campaign leaflet - 8-sided A6 leaflet:
Also Of Interest
Page URL: http://www.inminds.co.uk/article.php?id=10742