Tag Archives: Prisons

Imprisoned voices: Corporate complicity in the Israeli prison system

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This briefing is being published on 17 April 2015 to coincide with the annual day of solidarity with Palestinian prisoners.

It collects the memories of the pain, suffering and resilience of Palestinians who have been imprisoned by Israel.

In 2013, Corporate Watch visited the West Bank and Gaza Strip and interviewed released prisoners about their experiences. The 11 accounts give a glimpse of the struggles of Palestinian prisoners.

They have been collected together here to inspire readers to take action in solidarity with them and against the companies profiting from their suffering.

The first part of this briefing compiles interviews with prisoners from the Gaza Strip. The second part focuses on the West Bank. The final part summarises the companies providing equipment and services that aid the arrest and imprisonment of Palestinians and gives detailed profiles of two of the biggest culprits: G4S and Hewlett Packard.

We dedicate this briefing to all those who remain imprisoned, and to everyone living within the open air prison that is occupied Palestine.

The briefing is currently only published online. It will be available to buy in the coming weeks from www.corporatewatch.org

Avoiding accountability: Life in Ramleh prison hospital

Akram Salameh holds up a picture of himself in prison uniform, taken inside Ramleh prison hospital

Akram Salameh holds up a picture of himself in prison uniform, taken inside Ramleh prison hospital – Photo taken by Corporate Watch, Gaza City, November 2013

Corporate Watch has been investigating the companies involved in the Israeli prison system and interviewing ex-prisoners. This interview is part of a series of articles to be released over the coming months that we hope will serve as a resource for action against companies providing equipment and services to the Israeli Prison ‘Service’ (IPS).

Palestinian organisations are calling for action on 17 April, the international day of solidarity for Palestinian political prisoners, against G4S, a British-Danish multinational company working with the IPS, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, a major investor in G4S. Click here to find out more. Continue reading

‘I can’t give you information about your health, it’s a security matter’: Life for a sick Palestinian prisoner in the Israeli prison complex

International action has been called for in solidarity with prisoners held in Israeli jails. Corporate Watch has been investigating the companies involved in the Israeli prison system and interviewing ex-prisoners. This interview is part of a series of articles which will be released over the coming months focusing on companies providing equipment and services to the Israeli Prison ‘Service’ (IPS).

Israeli surveillance technology overlooks Palestinian farmland in Beit Hanoun- Picture taken by Corporate Watch, November 2013

Israeli surveillance technology overlooks Palestinian farmland in Beit Hanoun- Picture taken by Corporate Watch, November 2013

We met ‘Salah’* at his home in Beit Hanoun in the Northern Gaza Strip a few weeks after his release from seven years prison in Israel. A celebration tent had been set up in his house since his release. We wanted to speak to Salah about the conditions for sick patients in Israeli jails, the particular problems for prisoners from Gaza and the complicity of international companies like G4S and Hewlett Packard in the Israeli prison system. The Ketziot prison where Salah spent some of his period of imprisonment has been receiving services from British/Danish company G4S since 2007.

The effects of Israeli air attacks are never far away in Beit Hanoun. As his sons and grandsons bring us tea to drink, Salah tells us that during the Israeli bombardment in November 2012 his grandson ‘Hisham’, who was three and a half years old, “was playing a little way away from a government building. The building was struck by an F16 and rubble hit him on the head. He was in intensive care for seven days.” We are invited to feel the soft patch in Hisham’s skull where he was injured. Salah goes on to tell us: “My son ‘Abed’, now 20 years old, was in the street when the group of boys he was with was targeted by an Apache [helicopter]. One of them was killed and 18 injured. Abed’s hand was amputated, he is seriously psychologically affected.” Continue reading

Palestinian prisoners’ association calls for the prosecution of G4S

Hussam Association, a Gaza based organisation of current and former Palestinian detainees in Israeli jails, has released the following statement calling for the prosecution of G4S. G4S, a British/Danish multinational company, holds a contract with the Israeli Prison ‘Service’ to supply Israeli jails with equipment and services:

“Hussam, the prisoners and liberated association has called human rights bodies and organisations to work on the prosecution of British company G4S that oversees security systems of the prisons of the Zionist Occupation in the West Bank.

The association has also confirmed that it will call for Arab and European human rights organisations and official bodies to take the necessary procedures to put officials of G4S company on trial, for the company’s involvement in war crimes, and crimes against humanity against Palestinian prisoners.

The association announced that it will collaborate with local and international human rights associations to expose the company and build awareness against its involvement in torturing Palestinian prisoners by providing the Israeli occupation with security systems and central observation and control units in prisons of Negev, Megiddo, Damon, Rimon and others that imprison more than 5000 Palestinian prisoners from the West Bank, Gaza, Jerusalem and the lands of 1948.

The association has also added that the company has installed defence systems on the walls surrounding Ofer prison in the West Bank. G4S also manages a central control unit for the centre of Ofer Military Court that trials Palestinian detainees from the West Bank, on a daily basis for arbitrary and cruel provisions.

Hussam association has also confirmed that G4S provides security systems for detention and interrogation facilities in many Israeli detention centres, where Palestinians usually face different interrogation methods that are based on physical and psychological torture; such methods has led to the death of many Palestinian prisoners since the beginning of occupation.”

For more information on G4S click here.

Palestinian prisoners’ association calls for the prosecution of G4S

Hussam Association, a Gaza based organisation of current and former Palestinian detainees in Israeli jails, has released the following statement calling for the prosecution of G4S. G4S, a British/Danish multinational company, holds a contract with the Israeli Prison ‘Service’ to supply Israeli jails with equipment and services:

“Hussam, the prisoners and liberated association has called human rights bodies and organisations to work on the prosecution of British company G4S that oversees security systems of the prisons of the Zionist Occupation in the West Bank.

The association has also confirmed that it will call for Arab and European human rights organisations and official bodies to take the necessary procedures to put officials of G4S company on trial, for the company’s involvement in war crimes, and crimes against humanity against Palestinian prisoners.

The association announced that it will collaborate with local and international human rights associations to expose the company and build awareness against its involvement in torturing Palestinian prisoners by providing the Israeli occupation with security systems and central observation and control units in prisons of Negev, Megiddo, Damon, Rimon and others that imprison more than 5000 Palestinian prisoners from the West Bank, Gaza, Jerusalem and the lands of 1948.

The association has also added that the company has installed defence systems on the walls surrounding Ofer prison in the West Bank. G4S also manages a central control unit for the centre of Ofer Military Court that trials Palestinian detainees from the West Bank, on a daily basis for arbitrary and cruel provisions.

Hussam association has also confirmed that G4S provides security systems for detention and interrogation facilities in many Israeli detention centres, where Palestinians usually face different interrogation methods that are based on physical and psychological torture; such methods has led to the death of many Palestinian prisoners since the beginning of occupation.”

For more information on G4S click here.

G4S’ hidden business in Israel’s prisons

Israeli prison service

The Israeli Prison Service’s refusal to let Corporate Watch visit their facilities.

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Corporate Watch request for permission to visit Israeli prisons provided with G4S equipment.

As readers of Corporate Occupation will be aware, we have been covering the involvement of the British-Danish company G4S  in the Israeli prison system frequently during the last year. G4S provides services to all Israeli prisons, including facilities inside the West Bank. The company has come under heavy criticism for its occupation profiteering from many quarters and its prison contracts have come under especially heavy fire, as their services are facilitating Israel’s breaches of international law. Israel frequently transports Palestinian political prisoners from the West Bank to  prisons inside Israel in direct breach of Article 76 of the Fourth Geneva Convention. Once there, many are kept in ‘administrative detention’, an arbitrary detention option where detainees can be held without charge for an unspecified length of time -sometime up to several years. Israel also detains children.

As our previous research has shown, mistreatment of prisoners held by Israel is common. In interviews with prisoners, they have told us of the despair of being held in administrative detention with no end in sight, of weeks long interrogations and threats, sleep deprivation and lack of family visits (interviews are all available in our prison article archive). Continue reading

G4S complicit in the illegal imprisonment of internet activist by Israel

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Sireen Sawafteh, who is active in the non-violent campaign for human rights in Palestine, was arrested on 14 May 2013 by the Israeli army. She is currently being held without charge in Al Jalameh interrogation centre near Haifa, inside the 1948 borders of Israel. Statements by Israeli prosecutors indicate that she is being held because of internet activism.

The security systems in Al Jalameh interrogation centre (also known as ‘Kishon’) were provided by British/Danish company G4S (see this report by Who Profits?, page 13).

Sireen’s detention in Al Jalameh is illegal under the Geneva Convention, which states that prisoners arrested within an occupied territory should only be imprisoned within the occupied territory. In providing services to Al Jalameh, G4S is complicit in these breaches of international law.

For more info on G4S see Corporate Watch’s company profile. Reprinted below is a statement written by Sireen’s family and friends:

Sireen Sawafteh – Abducted by Israel on the 14 May 2013

Last Tuesday Sireen, a 24 year old woman from Tubas, was detained by the Israeli occupation forces. She is currently being held in Al Jalameh, an Israeli prison. Her family and friends fear for her safety.

She has been denied access to a lawyer and she has not been allowed to make any contact with her loved ones since her abduction. At around 3pm last Tuesday

Sireen’s car was stopped at a temporary check point on the road between Nablus and Tubas in the West Bank. After brief questioning by the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) she was detained. The second person in the car was also detained. In the early hours on Wednesday, the IOF raided Sireen’s family home whilst her father Khalid Sawafteh, her mother, three brothers, sisters in law and their two young children were sleeping. 25 IOF army jeeps entered the town of Tubas. 20 officers entered the home and over 100 remained in the street cornering off the house. The family and young children were all taken into one room whilst their home was ransacked. The IOF took all the computers in the house leaving Sireen’s relatives in shock.

Tubas is located in Area A as designated under the Oslo Accords, an agreement drawn up between the Palestinian Authority and the Israeli government. ‘Legally’ it is under total Palestinian civil and military control. Israeli civilians and military are prohibited to enter Area A and any incursion into this area is considered a breach of this agreement. Despite this, the IOF have continue to carry out ‘operations’ in Area A. The illegal incursion on Wednesday morning sparked protests in Tubas. Israeli forces fired tear gas and sound grenades at local residents as they gathered. Omar Abed al-Razaq, a 20 year old local university student from Nablus, was injured. He is in a serious but stable condition in Nablus Hospital. He has lost some of his fingers and is currently unable to communicate with his visitors. The full extent of his injuries are not yet known.

The head of the Palestinian Prisoners Society in Tubas, Mahmud Sawafteh, denounced Israel’s continuous raids, which he says causes ‘fear and panic among residents’. Since her detention, Sireen has been forcibly transferred out of the Occupied Palestinian Territories to an Israeli prison in Haifa located in the north of Israel, a practice illegal under international law.

Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention states that individual or mass forcible transfers, as well as deportations of protected persons from occupied territory to the territory of the Occupying Power or to that of any other country, occupied or not, are prohibited, regardless of their motive”. While Article 76 states clearly that ‘protected persons accused of offences shall be detained in the occupied country, and if convicted they shall serve their sentences therein”.

Last Thursday, lawyers acting for Sireen tried to visit the prison inside Israel where she is being held. They were refused entry. She appeared in court on Monday with her hands and legs shackled. The spurious charge was internet activism, creating a Facebook page which is considered a ‘threat’ to the ‘security’ of the region.

Sireen is active in the non violent campaign for human rights in Palestine. She studied computer science at the Open University in Tubas. During her studies she was actively involved in a twinning project between Tubas and the University of Sussex, England. She took part in a delegation of students which visited the UK from Palestine to strengthen links and foster friendships. Rashed Kahled, Sireen’s older brother, said: “We in the family are very concerned for Sireen and we would love her to be returned to us soon. My mother is very sad and fears for Sireen, she cannot sleep. How can we be at peace? We do not know what is happening and we are not allowed to see her.” Many Palestinian women prisoners suffer abuse during their detention.

Palestinian women prisoners are often kept in the same cells as Israeli female convicts. This practice often leads to female Palestinian prisoners being humiliated, suffering from threats and assault perpetrated with impunity by the Israel prisoners.

Adameer, a Palestinian Prisoner Support and Human Rights Organisation report that Palestinian women prisoners ‘are subjected to some form of psychological torture and ill-treatment throughout the process of their arrest and detention, including various forms of sexual violence that occur such as beatings, insults, threats, body searches, and sexually explicit harassment. Upon arrest, women detainees are not informed where they are being taken and are rarely explained their rights during interrogation. These techniques of torture and ill-treatment are used not only as means to intimidate Palestinian women detainees, but also as tools to humiliate Palestinian women and coerce them into giving confessions.’

Sireen was in court for the second time this Wednesday. The judge extended her detention for a further 6 days. She will appear again on Monday, when it is possible her detention will be further extended.

Support all Palestinian Political prisoners

Send messages of solidarity and support here:

https://www.facebook.com/Welcome.toOo.Palestine

- Write to your MP and ask them to make representations to the Israeli government calling for Sireen’s release.

- Take action against G4S, a British/Danish company that provides services to Al Jalameh, where Sireen is being held.

Find out how at http://stopg4s.net/

Kept in administrative detention for being a ‘man of influence’

Palestinians have called for international action on 17 April 2013 in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails. Corporate Watch has been investigating the companies involved in the Israeli prison system and this article is part of a series of articles and interviews which will be released over the coming weeks focusing on companies providing equipment and services to Israeli jails.

Continuing our series of personal testimonies from Palestinians imprisoned by Israel in the run-up to Palestinian prisoners’ day, this is the story of Tariq Abd al Kareem Fayyad Khaddar. Originally from Tulkarem, he now lives in Ramallah. He is a teacher at Bir Zeit University and a researcher in Israeli studies. He was first arrested in 2003, when he spent four years in prison, and again in 2011, when he spent two six month periods in administrative detention. Continue reading

Kept in administrative detention for being a ‘man of influence’

Palestinians have called for international action on 17 April 2013 in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails. Corporate Watch has been investigating the companies involved in the Israeli prison system and this article is part of a series of articles and interviews which will be released over the coming weeks focusing on companies providing equipment and services to Israeli jails.

Continuing our series of personal testimonies from Palestinians imprisoned by Israel in the run-up to Palestinian prisoners’ day, this is the story of Tariq Abd al Kareem Fayyad Khaddar. Originally from Tulkarem, he now lives in Ramallah. He is a teacher at Bir Zeit University and a researcher in Israeli studies. He was first arrested in 2003, when he spent four years in prison, and again in 2011, when he spent two six month periods in administrative detention. Continue reading

“You don’t look for justice in a military court”

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Salah, , a 27 year old French-Palestinian man from Jerusalem who has spent 7 years and 10 months in Israeli prisons since he was 16 years old.

Palestinians have called for international action on 17 April 2013 in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails. Corporate Watch has been investigating the companies involved in the Israeli prison system and this article is part of a series of articles and interviews which will be released over the coming weeks focusing on companies providing equipment and services to Israeli jails.

In January and February 2013 Corporate Watch interviewed a number of ex-prisoners with the aim of highlighting the conditions for Palestinian political prisoners in Israel’s jails, and allowing their personal stories to be heard. This is the testimony of Salah, a 27 year old French-Palestinian man from Jerusalem who has spent 7  years and 10 months in Israeli prisons since he was 16 years old.

A video interview with Salah can be viewed here.

Continue reading