The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has bought a 3 percent stake in the British-Danish security firm G4S worth £110 million ($172 million), the UK’s Guardian reported just days after protestors made the company’s role in human rights abuses in Palestine and beyond the focus at the firm’s annual meeting.
The Gates Foundation’s motto “We believe every person deserves the chance to live a healthy, productive life” is difficult to reconcile with G4S’s complicity in human rights violations.
Palestinian human rights organizations Addameer and Defence for Children International-Palestine Section have reported many cases of torture, ill-treatment, arbitrary detention, solitary confinement and isolation of Palestinian detainees in Israel’s G4S-secured prisons and interrogation centers. Last February, young Palestinian father Arafat Jaradat died in Megiddo prison after being interrogated by Israel’s internal security service Shin Bet, also known as the Shabak. G4S provides security services to Megiddo prison.
G4S shows no intention of ending its involvement with Israel’s prison system, though the transfer of Palestinian prisoners from the occupied West Bank and Gaza into Israel is illegal under international law and constitutes a war crime. Israel’s detention of the majority of the approximately 5,000 Palestinian political prisoners inside Israel, including 236 children, is therefore unlawful. However, the company will not end its servicing of security and surveillance equipment contracts with these prisons, G4S media relations manager Piers Zangana recently told Danish financial watchdog Danwatch. more