BNC Statement

BDS pressure forces G4S to distance itself from Israel's prison system

More than 50 people joined a demonstration outside the G4S shareholders meeting at which the company announced plans to end its role in Israel's prison system, but only by 2017[/caption] - G4S announces future pull out of...

- G4S announces future pull out of prisons, but campaign pressure must continue until it does - US United Methodist Church joins Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in divesting from G4S - Solidarity with Palestinian political prisoners! Stop Administrative Detention now! - Read the latest on the historic hunger strikes at http://www.addameer.org/einside.php?id=7  June 17 2014 - As more than 100 heroic Palestinian political prisoners continue their hunger strike for the 55th day, their longest ever, the campaign against G4S over its role in Israel's prison system and occupation is proving an increasingly effective way to show solidarity with the struggle of Palestinian political prisoners. British security company G4S recently announced that it will not renew its contract with the Israeli Prison Service when it expires in 2017. The decision comes as a result of a Palestinian-led boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign that has cost the company millions of dollars in contracts and compelled the Bill Gates Foundation to completely divest its $170m stake in the company. In the latest development, General Board of Pension and Health Benefits (GBPHB) of the US United Methodist Church has instructed the managers of its $20bn fund to sell all shares in G4S.  By working together, Palestinian and international solidarity groups, unions and other organisations from across the world have taken effective action that has forced the world's biggest security company to take steps to address its complicity with Israeli apartheid. Palestinian organisations call for increasing pressure on G4S to ensure that the company completely and immediately ends any contract that helps Israel to violate international law, including its on-going contracts with the Israeli Prison Service, Israeli military check points, illegal Israeli settlements and the Israeli military. In addition, let us work together to build effective actions in solidarity with Palestinian political prisoners, including putting pressure on international institutions to intervene to force Israel to end its use of detention without trial, known as "administrative detention", and abandon attempts to force-feed hunger striking prisoners. Taking effective action against G4S G4S has an on-going contract to provide services and equipment that play a key role in the running of Israeli prisons at which Palestinians are held without trial under "administrative detention" and routinely subjected to torture. In April 2012, on the eve of the last mass hunger strike by Palestinian political prisoners, Palestinian organisations launched a campaign against G4S to force it to end its role in Israel's prison system. Since then, unions, charities, universities and other public bodies have ended contracts with G4S as a result of effective local campaigning by BDS partners and human rights groups, costing the company millions of dollars. In April this year, a campaign was launched to persuade the charitable foundation of Bill Gates, the world's richest man, to divest from G4S. Following months of campaigning that saw more than 13,000 people signing a petition and demonstrations taking place at Gates Foundation offices in Johannesburg, London and Seattle, the Gates Foundation has now officially announced that it has completely divested from the company. Determined, effective and creative campaigning by Palestinian and international organisations forced G4S to announce at its Annual General Meeting in London on June 5 that it will end its contract with the Israeli Prison Service when it expires in 2017. However, as Palestinian prisoner advocacy and support group Addameer has noted, "the latest reports that G4S will not renew its contract with the Israeli Prison Service is a welcome step, but this has no immediate effect on those facing human rights violations inside Israel’s prisons today”. The campaign against G4S must continue until it completely withdraws from Israel's prison system and from providing equipment and services to the Israeli's apartheid infrastructure. G4S has not yet concretely ended any aspect of its support for Israel's system of apartheid, colonisation and occupation. We thank all those that have joined us to take action against G4S and look forward to working with international civil society to redouble our efforts to hold G4S and other corporations accountable for their role in Israeli apartheid. Palestinian BDS National Committee 


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