Sir Geoffrey Bindman QC co-signed the below letter, published on The Guardian on 5 June 2014.
More than 200 Palestinian children are being held in Israeli prisons. At least two of the jails where Palestinian children are detained – Ofer in the West Bank and Al Jalame in Israel – are supplied with security systems by G4S.
Several organisations, including Unicef in 2013, have documented the ill-treatment of the children inside these prisons. Unicef reported that the abuse of Palestinian youngsters trapped in the Israeli prison system is “widespread, systematic and institutionalised”. At its AGM last year, a number of concerned shareholders questioned the G4S board about the company's complicity in the detention and abuse of Palestinian children, eliciting the promise of a review of the current situation.
A year on, G4S appears to be as entrenched as ever in the Israeli prison system. This is an unacceptable position for the company, with its headquarters in the UK, to be in. We call on G4S to show it has a conscience and terminate its contracts with facilities where children suffer routine physical and verbal abuse, contrary to the norms of civilised society.
The letter and list of signatures can be found here.
Jude Lanchin, Senior Associate in the criminal department, is part of a delegation of leading lawyers who have reported on the treatment of Palestinian Children in Israeli Military Custody. See: www.childreninmilitarycustody.org
She is due to return to Palestine with some of the other delegates later this year, to review the situation and an updated report will be published by the delegation following this trip.