G4S accused over links to Palestinian ‘torture' death jail

25 February 2013 - 4:55pm
Press release

Company told to end complicity with unlawful Israeli detention of prisoners

Campaigners today called for the British private security corporation G4S to be held to account for its involvement with Israel's unlawful detention of Palestinians.

The call followed the death of a Palestinian prisoner, after his alleged torture in custody by Israel's internal security service Shin Bet.

The charity War on Want demanded that the company withdraws from contracts to supply Israeli prisons, after Arafat Jaradat's death at Megiddo prison, in the wake of his reported torture at the Al Jalameh interrogation centre.

It said G4S provided security systems and the central control room at the prison in northern Israel and also equipped the West Bank interrogation centre

Five years ago the firm signed a contract to provide security systems for major facilities run by the Israel Prison Authority.

It has supplied not only the Megiddo jail in Israel, as well as other prisons, including  Keziot and Damon, and the Kishon (“Jalameh”) and Jerusalem (“Russian Compound”) detention facilities.

The company installed computerised control and monitoring systems, entrance and visitation control systems, control rooms with touch screens, internal and external CCTV monitoring and recording systems and optic fibre communication lines.

The Ofer facility in the illegally occupied Palestinian territory has also been supplied with security systems.

Human rights and prisoner rights organisations in Israel and Palestine cite many cases of torture and abuse of Palestinian prisoners in Kishon (“Jalameh”) and Jerusalem (“Russian Compound”) detention facilities.

According to these groups, Palestinian detainees who are interrogated there report being beaten, shackled in painful positions for days, denied sleep and medical care, and exposed to extreme temperatures for long periods.

Article 76 of the Fourth Geneva Convention bans the transfer of prisoners from occupied territory to the occupier's land.

War on Want senior campaigner Rafeef Ziadah said: “G4S  provides equipment and services to Israeli prisons where Palestinian political prisoners, including child prisoners, are detained and tortured.  This British company is profiting from human rights abuses against the Palestinian people. The terrible death of Arafat Jaradat highlights the urgent need for G4S to ends its complicity in Israel's prison system.”

NOTES TO EDITORS

  • Kamil Sabbagh, lawyer for the 30-year-old Jaradat, said he was subjected to torture during interrogation, such as being forced to sit for hours in stress positions, with his hands shackled behind his back.
  • Jaradat's post mortem – conducted at Israel's National Forensic Institute, near Tel Aviv, with a Palestinian doctor present – is alleged to show torture signs, including a beaten chest, lashes on his back and shoulders, two broken ribs, a blooded nose and mouth bruises.
  • Activists point to Arafat as the second Palestinian to die this year from abuse under Israeli detention. They say Ashraf Abu Dra suffered medical negligence and died on 21 January from a fatal coma, soon after his release.

CONTACT: War on Want media officer Paul Collins (+44) (0)20 7324 5054 or (+44) (0)7983 550728

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