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G4S: We’ll stay in prisons and settlements

In the controversial issue of their engagement on the occupied West Bank, G4S now reveals which contracts they plan to pull out of and which they plan to continue.
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So far it has been impossible to get details about exactly which contracts G4S intends to pull out of and which activities in connection with the controversial occupation of Palestine they intend to continue.

But now Media Relations Manager Piers Zangana confirms to DanWatch that G4S is continuing its contracts with private and commercial clients in Israeli settlements and its contracts with Israeli prisons. Piers Zangana says to DanWatch  that G4S is withdrawing from the servicing of security and surveillance equipment in the Israeli prison Ofer placed in the Palestinian West Bank, the Israeli E1 prison in the West Bank and checkpoints along the wall that separates the West Bank from Jerusalm and Israel.

Piers Zangana stresses that G4S does not have contracts involving the total operation of Israeli prisons.

 Amnesty International, who them selves have ended their contracts with G4S, are not satisfied:

”It is worrying that G4S has chosen only to pull out of one Israeli prison on the West Bank and not from the Ktziot, Megiddo and Damon prisons in Israel, all of which contain Palestinian prisoners,” says Trine Christensen, Vice-Secretary General of Amnesty International Denmark, and adds:

”It is a violation of the Geneva convention that Palestinian prisoners are kept in Israel. Furthermore, many of the Palestinian prisoners in Israel have received administrative imprisonment without having been sentenced.”

Pulling out of selected activities after media storm

G4S became subject to a media storm when DanWatch in 2010 revealed the company’s association with the Israeli occupation of Palestine. After pressure from NGOs, G4S announced that they would pull out of activities in Israel and Palestine, but without going into details.

In an interview with Jyllands-Posten, Thomas Medom, spokesperson on political affairs of the Socialist People’s Party in Aarhus city council, was pleased when G4S announced retractions, because the city council has large contracts with the company. Today, after the details have been disclosed, he says:

”It is disappointing that G4S still actively supports the illegal and deeply harmful occupation of the Palestinian people. FN has repeatedly criticised the settlement policy and the large number of political prisoners, and it is also Danish policy to denounce the settlements. This does not fit well with the fact that G4S continues to play an active role in Israel’s violations of human rights.”

Also, Thomas Medom hopes that the new information will put the criticism, which subsided after G4S’ last announcement, back on the agenda:

”I hope that the Danish state and the major municipalities will once again put pressure on G4S since none of us are interested in being associated with the Israel-Palestine conflict. We need a more peaceful development in the Middle East, and settlements and the extensive use of political prisoners are the polar opposite of a peaceful development.”

den store brug af politiske fanger er det stik modsatte af en fredelig udvikling.”

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