New Yorkers came out on Friday, 22 January – despite low temperatures and a threatened heavy snowstorm – to protest G4S‘s complicity in Israeli imprisonment, torture and oppression of Palestinians, and to call for freedom for imprisoned Palestinian journalist Mohammed al-Qeeq, on his 59th day of hunger strike against his detention without charge or trial.
Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network – NY protests weekly outside the New York headquarters of G4S, the British-Danish security multinational that provides security systems and control rooms to Israeli prisons, checkpoints and police training centers, placing G4S and its equipment at the heart of the “matrix of control” that governs Palestinian lives under occupation and apartheid. Hundreds of organizations around the world, following calls from Palestinian prisoners and Palestinian organizations, have urged a boycott of G4S, and especially urged the United Nations to stop doing business with the corporation.
Indeed, just last week, the Hollands Kroon municipality in the Netherlands rejected a contract with G4S following a campaign by BDS activists, including the GreenLeft party, urging that G4S be excluded on human rights grounds.
The protest came as al-Qeeq, 33 and a correspondent for Al-Majd TV, neared two full months on hunger strike. Held shackled to a hospital bed in Afula Hospital, al-Qeeq was ordered by military order to imprisonment under administrative detention for six months, renewable – without charge, without trial, under secret evidence. Al-Qeeq is the latest of a number of Palestinians – including fellow Palestinian journalist Nidal Abu Aker – to undertake a long term hunger strike against the use of administrative detention without charge or trial.
Photos by Joe Catron.