World Bulletin / News Desk
The University of Helsinki in Finland has canceled the security contract with private firm G4S over its role in Israel’s prison system.
Palestinian organizations had launched a boycott and divestment campaign against the G4S firm in 2012 because the British company provides security equipment and services to Israeli prisons where thousands of Palestinians are detained.
Israel is notorius for keeping Palestinians in prison, in detention without trial and using systematic torture, including of children.
University of Helsinki decision, comes after a campaign that was backed by unions representing its academics and students.
In April 2014, a petition urging it to drop G4S was handed to the university’s administration.
Not long after, the university director’s Jukka Kola tweeted that the contract with G4S would be examined.
Finnish company called Turvatiimi will be providing security services at the university.
“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.
NORTH CAROLINA CANCELS G4S
Durham County in North Carolina also recently voted to drop G4S. In Durham County, G4S provided security services at libraries and police, and civic buildings. The contract was worth $1million dollars. A year long campaign saw the vote being cancelled in November 2014 with the board of commissioners last week choosing a local company, “that has agreed to pay its workers a living wage and consider rehiring the G4S workers,” Brooks added.
Jade Brooks, a member of Jewish Voice for Peace - North Carolina and part of a broad coalition of local groups that have long campaigned against G4S, told The Electronic Intifada that it was a welcomed “second win.”
Jewish Voice for Peace stated in a November press release that “Durham reconsidered its security contract after residents protested the role of the privatized police force in the community and the company’s involvement in Israeli institutions that detain and discriminate against Palestinians.”
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