New Yorkers protested on Friday, 12 February – Mohammed al-Qeeq’s 80th day of hunger strike – demanding his freedom from administrative detention without charge or trial. The 33-year-old Palestinian journalist has consumed only water since 25 November and is currently facing a dire health crisis, at risk of multiple organ failure.
The protest, held outside of the offices of G4S, the British-Danish security corporation that provides security equipment and control rooms for Israeli prisons, checkpoints and police training systems, called for al-Qeeq’s immediate release. It was one of the weekly protests organized by Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network in New York City.
G4S is subject to an international boycott campaign because of its involvement in mass imprisonment, torture and colonialism in Palestine, as well as its involvement in human rights violations in the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, South Africa and elsewhere. Palestinian prisoners have urged a boycott of G4S and hundreds of international organizations have called on the United Nations to stop doing business with G4S.
Following pressure, the Gates Foundation divested its G4S holdings, while organizations like the British Labour Party have ended their contracts with G4S. Still, the massive security corporation continues to provide airport security services in Canada and across much of Europe.
Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network in New York is urging people to take the streets again next Friday, 19 February, outside G4S’ office at 19 W. 44th Street in Manhattan, to demand G4S immediately end its contracts with Israeli prisons and detention centers, occupation and security forces and checkpoints, and that Israel release al-Qeeq, other administrative detainees and all Palestinian political prisoners.