INMINDS PROTESTS HP COMPLICITY IN TORTURE & KILLING OF PALESTINIAN CHILDREN & DEMANDS FREEDOM FOR MOHAMMED AL-HALABI
#BETT2017 – INMINDS PROTESTS HP COMPLICITY IN TORTURE & KILLING OF PALESTINIAN CHILDREN & DEMANDS FREEDOM FOR MOHAMMED AL-HALABI
28th January, www.inminds.com
On Friday 27th January 2017, Inminds human rights group protested at the inclusion of Hewlett Packard at the British Educational Training and Technology show BETT 2017 in London. BETT is the worlds leading education technology event which attracts over 35,000 teachers and others in the education sector from around the world. Hewlett Packard is a company implicated in the torture and killing of children in Palestine.
Inminds chair Abbas Ali said “The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute has identified Hewlett Packard as one of the top 20 arms companies in the US. They are guilty of providing the IT backbone for the Israel military which according to UNICEF destroyed 258 schools and kindergardens in Gaza in 2014, slaughtering 521 children in the process. HP is also guilty of providing essential IT services and infrastructure that keeps Israel’s dungeons and torture dens operational. This is where, according to the United Nations Rights of the Child, Israel tortures and sexually abuses young children. We are shocked that a company complicit in these war crimes against children is invited to a teachers educational event. The only thing they teach is death, they have no place in the classroom.”
The protest was also in support of Palestinian aid worker Mohammed Khalil al-Halabi who has been imprisoned by Israel.
Inminds chair Abbas Ali added “We are demanding the immediate release of Mohammed Khalil al-Halabi, who has been languishing in a HP powered Israeli dungeon since June 2016. Mohammed Halabi has been awarded “Humanitarian Hero” award by the United Nations for his work with children in Gaza for the Christian charity World Vision. With his arrest and the freezing of their bank accounts in Jerusalem by Israel, World Vision has been forced to closed down operations in Gaza, immediately putting at risk the the lives of the 40,000 children that it provides for in Gaza. Israel is not content with bombing children in Gaza, it is now after those children that survived the slaughter and those humanitarians who care for them!”
A message from the family of Mohammed Khalil al-Halabi was read out at the protest. Mohammed’s brother Loay al-Halabi urged for international solidarity with his brother: “My brother has been incarcerated for 7 months and tortured for 53 consecutive days.. In the name of justice, I urge all activists around the world, to stand beside us in demanding freedom for my brother..”
The audience of teachers and educators was deeply sympathetic towards the protest. Head of IT at a London University told us they were cancelling their order with HP. Many educators from around the world congratulated us for the protest, some hugging us. One compassionate man upon seeing the banners detailing the killing and torture of women and children by Israel burst intro uncontrollable tears, he emptied the notes from his wallet to give to us, we of course could not accept his generosity in that state. Over a thousand leaflets were snapped up very quickly, with people, for a change, coming up to us asking for them.
There was one negative incident when a man violently attacked one of our banners, throwing his books at it. The banner “Humanity before profit” showed the blood soaked white shroud wrapping the dead body of one-year old Noha Mesleh being held up by his weeping father, Noha had been killed along with 15 others in an Israeli targeted strike on a UN school in Beit Hanun, in Gaza on 24th July 2014. Apparently the killing of a baby didn’t unsettle the man, but our exposing that crime in a public arena was too much for him to take. He later told police the books had just slipped out of his hands and flew 5 metres through the air, hitting the banner by mistake.
As usual we did have problems with the private security and the police who were acting on their behalf to enforce ExCel’s demands on us. They didn’t want us to interact with the visitors to the event, insisting we stay caged in a pen far away from the entrance. This of course was unacceptable to us, we were there to talk to our peers and share with them what the corporate media hides from them. Despite the police’s continued bullying at the behest of a mysterious head of ExCel security who kept himself hidden in his cctv control room issuing orders but refusing to come down to talk to us, we declined their offer to enter the pen.
Inmind chair Abbas Ali concluded “With HP the battle is about reputational damage. When people realise HP isn’t an innocent printer company, their brand will suffer, and with it their profits. And when profits suffer companies are forced to make decisions which they should have made in the first place out of a sense of common humanity. Our job here today was simply to reveal HP’s dirty secrets to an intelligent, caring and influential audience. I think we succeeded.”
Inminds 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 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.