With the opening ceremony of the London Olympic Games approaching amid serious concerns over security, the company responsible, G4S, is in the news. Not, says the Arab Organisation for Human Rights, because of its contracts which violate international law in Afghanistan, Iraq and the occupied Palestinian territories, but because it can't meet it's obligations over the number of security personnel for the games.
According to the AOHR, it is well known to the British authorities at all levels that G4S provides security guards and equipment for Israeli checkpoints in the occupied West Bank – where Palestinians are humiliated on a daily basis – and for Israel's illegal settlements, as well as in state prisons. However, the British Olympic authorities still went ahead to award the company with the security contract for the 2012 games to go with its existing contacts to provide security and other facilities for the Conservative Party conference, airports, police forces and other sensitive facilities.
The AOHR has already appealed to the British government to investigate the activities of G4S and to cancel the Olympic contract. In a report out this week, it also points out that many newspapers have revealed details of G4S activities. In addition, Lord Hollick tabled a question to the government in the House of Lords last June asking, "How can you put the security of the Olympic Games in the hands of a company that contracts with an occupation state and violates human rights?" Nevertheless, the contract for the Olympics was still awarded to G4S.
Insisting that there is still a glimmer of hope that the activities of this company can be curbed, and it and other companies can be brought to account for their human rights violations, the AOHR added, "The Arab Organization for Human Rights in Britain reminds Arab and Islamic governments about the report which was published on the activities of G4S in their countries last April; no one moved but the state of Libya, which announced its rejection of links with this company. We are re-appealing to the Arab and Islamic countries, particularly the Gulf states, to follow Libya's lead and reconsider their contracts with G4S."