By Therezia Cooper & Tom Anderson
On April 17th Palestinians have called for international action in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails. Corporate Occupation has been investigating the companies involved in the Israeli prison system and we will be releasing a series of articles over the coming weeks on companies providing equipment and services to Israeli jails as well as interviews with Palestinians about their experience of the Israeli prison system.
Corporate Watch has been informed that a British immigration detainee, who had been arrested at an anti-apartheid wall demonstration in the village of Kafr Qaddum, was restrained in Hiatt handcuffs.
Tom Woodhead, who had been held in Givon detention facility in Ramla, said that the handcuffs had Hiatts and ‘Made in England’ embossed into them and that the cuffs were “like a solid bit of metal”.
Another ex prisoner, interviewed by Corporate Watch researchers in February 2013, who had been an administrative detainee imprisoned without charge in several Israeli prisons pointed out a set of Hiatt handcuffs from the company’s website that were one solid piece of metal. Several detainees, interviewed independently said that the ‘Made in England’ handcuffs were the ‘most uncomfortable and painful’ cuffs used in Israeli prisons.
Hiatt and Co, a defunct Birmingham based British company had been manufacturing shackles and manacles for over 200 years before its closure in 2008. Hiatts hancuffs had first been sold for use in the slave trade and, more recently, to the US military for use in Guantanomo Bay. In 2008 Hiatt and Co was closed by its owner, BAE systems. However, BAE continued to market handcuffs and other products under the Safariland brand. In 2012 Safariland was sold by BAE to Kanders & Co, a private investment company based in Connecticut, USA. Handcuffs marketed under the Hiatt brand continue to be sold via the Monadnock website, which is operated by Safariland.
Safariland reportedly has 17,000 employees in the United States and Mexico including Casper, Wyoming; Pittsfield, Massachussets; Ontario, California; Tijuana, Mexico; and its headquarters in Jacksonville, Florida. The company markets riot helmets and shields, batons, and handcuffs through the Monadnock brand.
Safariland has also acquired the Defense Technology line of products. As Corporate Watch has previously reported, Defense Technology tear gas has been used by the Israeli police in occupied East Jerusalem.
Kanders and Company is based at:
One Landmark Square
Stamford, CT 06901
Safariland can be contacted at:
3120 E. Mission Blvd.
Ontario, CA 91761
13386 International Parkway
Jacksonville, FL 32218