April 18, 2013 (TSR- Ahram Online) – Egyptian NGOs and rights groups on Tuesday issued a joint statement – along with several Palestinian, Lebanese and Jordanian counterparts – calling for a boycott of prominent security firm G4S owing to the company’s involvement with Israel’s longstanding occupation of Palestine.
The statement, released on 16 April to coincide with Palestinian Prisoners Day, declared that signatories “are calling for the boycott of the G4S company in the Arab world because of its involvement in Israeli occupation and oppression.”
The UK/Denmark-based multinational has repeatedly come under fire since its 2002 acquisition of Israeli security firm Hashmira, now its Israeli subsidiary, which provides “security services” for Israeli prisons, detention centres and checkpoints.
“G4S provided equipment for [Israel’s] Ofer Prison… [and] provided the Gilmeh interrogation centre with security systems,” the statement reads. “And it has provided equipment and services for the West Bank Israeli Police Headquarters and Israeli interrogation centres, known for their practice of torture and ill-treatment of detainees.”
The firm is also known to provide security personnel for facilities and businesses located in illegally-built Jewish-only settlements, along with security technology for Israel’s notorious ‘Apartheid Wall’ separating Israel proper from the West Bank.
The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign, an international movement that calls for boycotting Israeli products and services, has repeatedly campaigned against G4S.
Signatories to Tuesday’s joint statement issued the following demands: the boycott by companies and individuals associated with G4S and the cessation of existing business with it; the exclusion of G4S from state public and private tenders; that the Regional Arab Boycott Bureaus reach consensus on prohibiting the work of G4S in the Arab world given the postponement of this decision at their last meeting; that the European Union stop using G4S for the management of its facilities, especially its diplomatic missions in the Arab world.
The joint statement was signed by the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights, the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies, the Campaign for the Boycott of Supporters of ‘Israel’ in Lebanon, and the Palestinian Non-Governmental Organisations Network, among others.