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article imageUK Government's choice of security firm for Olympics in question

By Anne Sewell     Jun 10, 2012 in Sports
London - Questions arise from Parliament over the choice of U.K.-based G4S, accused of human rights abuses in Palestinian terrorities, as security for the Olympics.
G4S describes itself as “world’s leading international security solutions group” and has been given the security mission for the Olympics 2012. The company has already taken on 10,400 new employees for the Games.
However, G4S is a known supplier of equipment to several Israeli military checkpoints in the occupied West Bank.
They are also in charge of security systems at the Ofer detention center in Ramallah, where Palestinian political prisoners, including children, are held and tortured. The U.K. Parliament strongly criticized this detention center for human rights abuses in 2010.
G4S further provides equipment and security to several other Israeli prisons in which prisoners, illegally transferred from Palestinian territories, are held in breach of Article 76 of the Fourth Geneva Convention.
These settlements are seen by the U.K. - and nearly all other countries represented at the Games - as illegal according to international law.
All of this has raised some serious questions in Westminster about the choice of G4S for the security for the London Olympics.
Investigative journalist Tony Gosling told RT in the video above: that "G4S seems to be “about the worst you could pick in the world to do this job.”
“This is basically the privatization of the British police force. It’s being sucked in by the G4S." Gosling said, adding that that G4S are even "starting to operate police stations, they are also starting to do a lot of civilian support work for the police."
Gosling added that the company appears to be receiving the U.K.'s support, in the form of official contracts. He said, "They are bidding for contracts in Birmingham and elsewhere to actually operate detention facilities inside existing police stations.”
Apparently G4S runs six private prisons in the U.K. In these prisons detainees are hired for full-time work, which pays under $3 a day. This privatization of prisons by companies like G4S creates a very dangerous financial incentive to criminalize poor people and "incarcerate them for private profit," says Gosling.
Labour peer Lord Hollick will be leading the questioning at Parliament next week as to steps to prevent G4S from cooperating with the illegal Jewish settlements.
Parliament will also be questioning why the U.K. government is so eager to work with G4S, in spite of the fact that in September 2011, the firm's contract for deporting migrants from the U.K. had been cancelled following 773 complaints of abuse filed against it. This included the death of Jimmy Mubenga, an Angolan asylum-seeker who died as a result of being "restrained" by G4S staff.
The Morning Star is reporting that activists from over a dozen campaign groups picketed in front of G4S's annual general meeting on Thursday last week. Around 70 protesters demonstrated against its "horrendous human rights record" in various locations, including Israeli prisons.
More about United Kingdom, Olympics, London, olympics 2012, Security
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