Palestine Solidarity Campaign has today welcomed the BBC’s decision not to award their security contract, worth £80 million, to G4S . PSC has campaigned since July 2013 , urging the BBC to reject any bid by G4S, the firm which provides security services to Israeli prisons.
PSC’s campaign resulted in more than two thousand viewers and listeners urging the BBC not to award G4S with a contract because of its involvement in human rights abuses in Israel’s prisons. PSC’s tweets urging the BBC to break its links with G4S were shared more than six hundred times .
It has now been announced that the lucrative contract three year contract has gone to FirstSecurity, with an option to extend for two years. This is the first time the BBC has chosen one national security provider.
G4S services Israeli prisons where Palestinian prisoners are illegally transferred in serious violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention and also, in the case of child prisoners, the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child are also breached. There is credible evidence that Palestinian prisoners – including children – are routinely subjected to violence and torture at G4S serviced prisons in Israel and Palestine.
Sarah Colborne, Director of the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, said:
‘We are delighted that the BBC has taken on board the concerns of their viewers and listeners and not awarded this lucrative contract to G4S.
The BBC must be well aware by now of the controversy that surrounds G4S’ involvement in the human rights abuses against Palestinians . For the BBC to associate itself with such a company would have been deeply damaging to the BBC’s reputation. The BBC’s viewers and listeners clearly told Tony Hall, the BBC’s Director General, not to allow the money it pays in licence fees to be used in this way.’