Creating new perspectives since 2009

Ismail Patel to the Saudi Arabian ambassador in the UK: 'help end Israeli occupation of Palestine by terminating the G4S contract'

January 30, 2014 at 10:44 am

Below is the text from Ismail Patel’s open letter to the Ambassador of Saudi Arabia in the United Kingdom. Click here to read about G4S’s contract with Saudi Arabia

To: HRH Prince Mohammed bin Nawaf Al Saud, Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia, UK

Your Excellency,

We write this letter with concern following reports that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is using the global security company G4S to manage the annual Hajj crowds. This letter intends to draw your attention to some of G4S’s activities, which we hope will make you reconsider working with them. Primarily, G4S has for many years been profiting from the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land.

G4S provides a number of services to Israel including managing military checkpoints, and the detention and imprisonment of Palestinians. Checkpoints are a daily misery for Palestinians, and these are intended to oppress them, denying them free movement including access to schools, hospitals and places of worships. It also helps provide Israel with complete power and control over the population. By providing such services, G4S is directly complicit in the oppression and subjugation of the Palestinian people and has been the target of global boycott campaigns as a result.

G4S claims to be committed to human rights yet it helps to run the Israeli prison services which hold thousands of Palestinian prisoners, some without charge or trial; while others face torture as reported by the UN. In effect G4S is the instrument through which Israel routinely breaks international laws and Conventions where Palestinian detainees are concerned. One especially disturbing aspect of the Israeli prison system managed by G4S is the high numbers of Palestinian child prisoners held in adult prisons.

These facts cannot be ignored and by continuing with this contract with G4S, Saudi Arabia will give the impression that it is indifference to the plight of the Palestinians. It would also mean that international calls being made to boycott G4S are being ignored by the Saudi authorities and thus raise questions about the seriousness with which Saudi views the Israeli occupation of the Holy Al-Aqsa and Palestine.

We hope that you will heed the call being made in this letter, and take the case up within the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia with the appropriate authorities. For those who are guardians of the Haram al-Sharif in Makkah and Masjid An-Nabawi in Medina; I’m sure you will agree that granting G4S a contract to manage the most spiritual journeys that Muslims undertake is unacceptable. We hope Saudi Arabia will join in our efforts to help end Israeli occupation of Palestine by terminating the G4S contract.

Yours faithfully,
Ismail Patel
Chair, Friends of Al-Aqsa