Friday, 22 May 2015

University of Helsinki cancels G4S contract over support for Israeli prisons

The University of Helsinki in Finland has canceled its security contract with G4S over its role in Israel’s prison system.

Palestinian organizations launched a boycott and divestment campaign against G4S in 2012 because the British firm provides security equipment and services to Israeli prisons where thousands of Palestinians are detained.

Detention without trial and use of torture, including of children, are widespread in Israel’s prison system.

The decision by the University of Helsinki follows a campaign that was backed by unions representing its academics and students.

In April 2014, a petition was handed to the university’s administration, urging it to drop G4S.

Shortly afterwards, the university director’s Jukka Kola tweeted that the contract with G4S would be examined.

As a result of the cancellation, security services at the university will now be provided by a Finnish company called Turvatiimi.

“We welcome this decision by the university. We’re delighted that so many parts of the University of Helsinki community joined us in opposing the role of G4S in Israel’s human rights abuses,” said Teivo Teivainen, one of the academics involved in launching the campaign. more


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