Over 60 Global Civil Society Groups Sign Open Letter to Allied Universal
Allied Universal recently acquired G4S, Allied Universal now has an obligation in accordance with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights to cease its involvement in these crimes, which contribute to Israel’s regime of apartheid. We urge Allied Universal to stand on the right side of history.
We, the undersigned civil society organizations, write to you regarding your recent acquisition of G4S – which continues to be the target of an international boycott and divestment campaign launched by Palestinian human rights and civil society organizations nine years ago. G4S was identified in 2012 by the then UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, Richard Falk, as a prime example of an institution that should be held accountable for its participation in Israel’s violations of international law, its support for Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestinian territory, and its maintenance of the Israeli apartheid system.
Despite selling its subsidiary – G4S Israel – under pressure from international boycotts, G4S continues to be complicit in violations of international law through its 25 percent stake in Policity Corporation.
Policity is the national police training centre that trains all Israeli police, including officers that work with Israeli prisons where over 4,000 Palestinian political prisoners are detained. Of these prisoners, 355 are being held in administrative detention without the right to a trial. Human rights organizations have repeatedly documented torture and degrading treatment of Palestinian political prisoners, including children.
Policity is responsible for training Israeli police officers on crowd control, house raids, interrogation techniques, target shooting, and undercover operations – all tactics aimed at repressing Palestinians. These repression tactics are also shared through exchange programs which contribute to police brutality in the United States. Thousands of American police, FBI, ICE and other law enforcement officials travel to Israel to train with the Israeli police and military and exchange in the worst practices of policing including racial profiling, surveillance and violent suppression of dissent –what activists call “deadly exchange” programs. Policing in both the Israeli and U.S. contexts is both racist and violent towards Indigenous and racialized populations.
The Israeli police, trained by Policity, plays a central role in enabling Israel’s war crimes against Palestinians in the occupied Palestinian territory. These crimes include the theft and annexation of Palestinian land, which includes ongoing settler attacks on Palestinian residents which are not investigated by Israeli police; demolition of Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem, the Jordan Valley, and elsewhere; forced displacement; unlawful killings; as well as torture and illegal detention.
By partially owning and operating Policity, G4S is complicit in Israel’s regime of occupation, colonialism, and apartheid, and continues to be the target of international boycott and divestment campaigns. These campaigns have had a devastating impact on G4S, directly resulting in lost contracts, worth millions of dollars, with unions, banks, charities, universities and other public bodies around the world.
In April 2019, Norway’s Sovereign Wealth Fund – the world’s largest sovereign fund – “blacklisted” G4S and divested its 2.3% stake in the company over its human rights abuses. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation sold its entire stake in G4S to ensure compliance with human rights. In March 2014, BBC did not award G4S an £80m contract following a campaign supported by notable figures. BDS activists in South Africa have successfully diverted 20 businesses from G4S locally. While in Jordan, all UN agencies including UNHCR, UNICEF, UNOPS, UNWFP, UNWomen, as well as the Embassy of Kuwait and businesses have ended their contracts with G4S due to their ethical concerns in dealing with a company complicit in occupation and apartheid.
International boycotts have already been successful in pressuring G4S to abandon its Israeli subsidiary G4S Israel. In December 2016, and under BDS campaign pressure, G4S sold its Israeli subsidiary to the Israeli equity fund FIMI.
By acquiring G4S, Allied Universal now has an obligation in accordance with the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights to cease its involvement in these crimes, which contribute to Israel’s regime of apartheid. We urge Allied Universal to stand on the right side of history.
We, the undersigned, call on Allied Universal to divest from Policity Corporation.
Academics for Palestine (Ireland),
Adalah Justice Project,
AKULBI, coordination committee for academic and cultural boycott of the state of Israel (Norway),
American Friends Service Committee,
American Muslims for Palestine,
BACBI – Belgian Campaign for Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel,
Canadians for Justice and Peace in the Middle East (CJPME),
Comité de Solidariedade com a Palestina – Portugal,
Comité pour une Paix Juste au Proche-Orient asbl,
Coordinamento Campagna BDS Bologna,
End the Deadly Exchange Seattle,
European Coordination of Committees and Associations for Palestine (ECCP),
Gaza Action Ireland,
Gibanje za pravice Palestincev,
Independent Jewish Voices Canada,
Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign,
Irish Football Fans Against Israeli Apartheid,
Jewish Voice for Just Peace (Ireland),
Jewish Voice for Peace,
Jewish Voice for Peace, Atlanta Chapter,
Jewish Voice for Peace/Austin,
Jewish Voice for Peace – Bay Area,
Jewish Voice for Peace, Central Ohio Chapter,
Jewish Voice for Peace – NYC,
Jewish Voice for Peace—Portland, OR chapter,
Jewish Voice for Peace – Twin Cities,
Jewish Voice For Peace – Westchester,
Justice For Palestinians, Calgary,
JVP Havurah Network,
JVP Santa Cruz,
KZN Palestine Solidarity Forum,
Minnesota BDS Community,
Northern New Jersey Jewish Voice for Peace,
Palestinian Alternative Refugee Center,
Palestine Solidarity Alliance – South Africa,
Palestine Solidarity Committee Stuttgart, Germany,
Palestina Solidariteit vzw,
SA BDS Coalition,
Stop Veolia Seattle,
The Carceral Tech Resistance Network,
The Palestine Committe in Norway,
Toronto BDS Network,
Trade Union Friends of Palestine, Ireland,
Unite the Union Rep of Ireland,
Wits Palestine Solidarity Committee,
Women in Black Vienna.