FREE THE CHILDREN
DATE: Thursday 2nd April 2015, 3-5pm
LOCATION: G4S HQ, 105 Victoria Street, London (near Victoria Station)
THE HARES BOYS
On 14th March 2013 a simple car accident, when a illegal Israeli settler car speeding along a road built illegally on stolen Palestinian land, crashed in to the back of an Israeli truck which had stopped to change a flat tire resulting in four people being hurt, was later at the behest of angry settlers presented as an attack by Palestinian stone throwing youth. The truck drivers earlier testimony that he stopped due to a flat tire was replaced with the new reason being that he had seen stones by the road, and an accident that happened after dark that nobody saw suddenly became a terror attack with 61 witnesses including the police!
Over the next few days over 50 masked Israeli soldiers with attack dogs stormed the local village of Hares in the early hours of the morning and in waves of violent arrests kidnapped the children of the village. In total 19 children were taken to the infamous G4S secured children's dungeon at Al Jalame and locked up in solitary confinement for up to 2 weeks in filthy windowless 1m by 2m hole in the ground cells with no mattress. The Israeli prime minister Benyamin Natanyahu announced to the settlers that he had “caught the terrorists”. The children were violently tortured and sexual threats were made against the female members of their families in order to coerce confessions from the boys.
With the confessions and the new “eye-witness” statements, five of the Hares boys were charged with 25 counts of attempted murder each, even though there were only four people in the car. Apparently the military court had decided that 25 stones were thrown, each with an "intent to kill". The five boys have been illegally transferred to Israel, in contravention of Article 76 of the Fourth Geneva Convention, to Megiddo prison where G4S provides the entire central command room. Hewlett Packard provides technical services and central servers that keep Israels dungeons and torture dens, including Megiddo, operational.
In violation of international law Israel has turned prisons in to money making enterprises with the boys essentially forced to pay for their own imprisonment. Israel deliberately fails to provide Palestinian prisoners the basic essentials - edible food, cloths (underwear, shoes..) and hygiene products (soap, toothbrush..). The boys are forced to buy these at the extortionately priced prison shop costing the families over € 125/month to provide for one child's basic needs in prison.
With no evidence of a crime the military court keeps on postponing the hearing dates from one month to one year to two years, meanwhile the boys remain caged indefinitely and their families facing financial ruin in the process. A court hearing entails the families spending most of their day queuing and enduring the humiliation at the checkpoints where HP provides the biometric systems used to tag Palestinians, then waiting at the court in anticipation of catching a glimpse of their son.. often to be disappointed as hearing are cancelled without notice.
The United Nations Children's Fund UNICEF report on Children in Israeli Military Detention concludes that Israel is the only country in the world where children are systematically tried in military courts that by definition fall short of providing the necessary guarantees to ensure respect for their rights. The conviction rate in Israeli military courts is an unfathomable 99.74%.
If the five boys are convicted they will be locked up for over 25 years - five young lives ruined with no evidence of a crime let alone their guilt.
G4S provides the security systems, and Hewlett Packard the IT infrastructure, which keep these torture dens operational. Prisoners who have survived these hell holes recall seeing G4S logos on the cameras that witnessed their abuse. These companies are fully complicit in the crimes Israel commits against Palestinian children, and must be held to account.
On Christmas day last year Israeli soldiers abducted 15 years old Khaled Sheikh from outside his home in Beit 'Anan in Jerusalem. He has been caged in Israel's notorious G4S secured Ofer prison for over three months now. Israel has denied him any family visits and he has been denied essential medical treatment. Accused of throwing a stone, Israel's military court on 25th February, true to its 99.74% conviction rate, sentenced Khaled to 4 months imprisonment and in addition fined him $500. Khaled suffers from several health issues including anaemia and has been denied his medication since his abduction in December. His family are fearful for his health and are urging activists around the world to intervene to secure the release of their son.
LAND DAY - PALESTINIAN STRUGGLE FOR THEIR LAND
Land Day commemorates the Palestinian struggle for their land in the face of rampant Zionist colonisation and theft of land. In particular it marks the events of 30th March 1976 when Palestinians called for a general strike to resist Yitzhak Rabin's orders to expropriate vast tracts of Palestinian land in the Galilee as part of Israel's openly declared policy to “Judaize” the area. Defense Minister Shimon Peres sent the troops in to break the strike, they killed 6 Palestinian 'citizens' of Israel and wounded hundreds more. Ahmed Khalaila remembers his brother Khader being executed by one shot in the head when he came to the aid of a woman who was shot for simple stepping outside her house.
At our protest we will remember Land Day.
PROTEST TO FREE THE HARES BOYS - OUTSIDE HEWLETT PACKARD LONDON HQ
On 20th March we held a second protest for the second anniversary of the abduction of the Hares Boys, this time outside the London headquarters of Hewlett Packard who provide the IT infrastructure and systems that ensures Israel's torture dens and dungeons stay operational.
Video - Hewlett Packard Complicity in Israeli Torture, 20 Mar 2015
Video - London Protest to Free The Hares Boys, 20 Mar 2015
Video - Free The Hares Boys - Speech On 2nd Anniv, 20 Mar 2015
Video - Hewlett Packard Complicity in Israel's War Crimes, 20 Mar 2015
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Palestinian Prisoners Campaign
The Palestinian Prisoners Campaign aims to raise awareness for the plight of Palestinian prisoners and build solidarity for their struggle and work towards their freedom. The campaign was launched by Innovative Minds (inminds.com) and the Islamic Human Rights Commission (ihrc.org) on the occasion of Al Quds Day 2012 (on 17th August 2012), since then we have held actions every fortnight in support of Palestinian prisoners, if you can spare two hours twice a month then please join the campaign by coming to the next action.