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Published On: Tue, Jun 28th, 2016

Kuwait’s PIFSS Divests from G4S over Palestine

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nsnbc : Kuwait’s Public Institution for Social Security (PIFSS) decided to divest its funds from the Britain-based G4S due to the company’s involvement in the Israeli security and prison industries and the long record of human rights abuse.

G4S logoIn May  2016 Kuwaiti MP Faisal Al-Duwaisan lodged a parliamentary inquiry to the Ministry of Finance. The inquiry should clarify questions about the nature of the shares that PIFSS held in G4S.

The Britain-based G4S has become widely known for profiting from the companies involvement in Israel’s prison industry and business that helps facilitate Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestine and violations of international and humanitarian law there. In his response to the parliamentary inquiry, the Kuwaiti Minister of Finance, who is also the Chairman of the Board of Directors for the PIFSS, confirmed that PIFSS has sold all its shares in G4S.

The company has especially attracted international attention after the international Boycott Divestment Sanctions Campaign targeted the company over its involvement in the Israeli occupation.  Guman Mussa, BDS Campaigns Coordinator in the Arab World, welcomed the new victory against G4S saying:

“The decision of PIFSS in Kuwait to respond to a call made by Palestinian civil society and BDS Kuwait affirms that the Palestinian cause is part and parcel of the consciousness of the Kuwaiti people. Kuwait shines a glimmer of hope against normalization with Israel’s regime of occupation and settler-colonialism”.

G4S operates in more than 125 countries. In March g4S responded to international pressure and announced its intention to exit the Israeli market. It has since, repeatedly, contradicted its claim that it would divest from Israel. However, the company has earned itself a notoriously bad reputation over a number of other issues.

It transpired, among others, that Omar Mateen, who was killed after allegedly murdering 49 and injuring some 50 others at the Pulse night club in Orlando, Florida, has been employed by G4S since 2007.

In March 2016 UNICEF ended its contract with G4S in Jordan over the companies involvement in Israel and involvement in the abuse o teenagers in prisons. In January 2016 five G4S employees in the UK were arrested over the abuse of teenagers in a private prison.

In December 2015, following the downing of a Russian Airbus A320 on flight KGL9268 over the Sinai peninsula in October, the Egyptian Cabinet  excluded G4S from airport security. The list of scandals involving the company could be continued for several pages. Others who decided to divest from G4S or to end contracts with the company include the U.S.-based United Church of Christ, and the Presbyterian Church, It is noteworthy that G4S stocks plummeted after the Orlando shooting earlier this month.

CH/L – nsnbc 28.06.2016

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