For Immediate Release
S.Africa's Historic Robben Island Sees Launch of "Free Palestinian Political Prisoners" Campaign
Johannesburg - Group 4 Security (G4S) was the company that BDS South Africa singled out during its message and address at yesterday's Robben Island launch of the "Free Marwan Barghouti and All Palestinian Political Prisoners" campaign.
In addition G4S installed and operates a central command room and peripheral defence system in Israel's Ofer Prison in the occupied Palestinian West Bank, which also houses the Israeli military courts that issues "administrative detention" orders (the equivalent of Apartheid South Africa's "Detention without trial"). All of the Israeli prisons and detention centers serviced by G4S house and have housed Palestinian "administrative detainees". As of 1 March 2013, there were 70 Palestinian administrative detainees in Israel's Ketziot, 56 in Ofer, and 27 in Megiddo. Israel’s policy of holding Palestinian political prisoners from the occupied Palestinian West Bank and Gaza in Israeli territory is illegal under international law, specifically Article 76 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which prohibits the transfer of prisoners from occupied territories. G4S also provides equipment and services to Israeli checkpoints and Israel's illegal Jewish-only settlements in the occupied Palestinian West Bank (www.whoprofits.org/company/
Over 750 000 Palestinians (roughly 40% of Palestinian men) have been imprisoned by Israel at one point in time. About 100 000 Palestinians have been held by Israel in "administrative detention" (the equivalent of Apartheid South Africa's "Detention without trial"). In the last 11 years alone, more than 7500 Palestinian children have been detained in Israeli prisons and detention facilities (including being held in solitary confinement) with Muhammad Daoud Dirbas, at the age of six, being the youngest Palestinian child to have been detained by Israeli soldiers - such practices are considered illegal under international law. Similar to the experience of Black families under Apartheid, almost every Palestinian family has been affected by the Israeli imprisonment of a relative. Currently, as of October 2013, there are over 5000 Palestinians imprisoned by Israel; 137 of them are being held under Israel's "administrative detention" (Apartheid South Africa's "Detention Without Trial") and 180 of them are children. Click here to read the 2012 United Nations report on Israel's detention of Palestinian children.