G4S security guards have violently removed more than a dozen protesting shareholders from the company's AGM.
Protesters, who bought shares in the firm in order to attend the meeting, were dragged out of the conference room in the ExCel Centre in
One protester who had attached herself to a chair was manhandled by four security guards. "You are hurting me, you are hurting me," she said as she was dragged from the meeting.
A leaflet she left behind said: "We are here because G4S helps governments across the world to violate basic human rights. We want to remind you that the huge salaries your board earns and the dividends that your shareholders pocket are only possible because of the extreme human suffering that G4S inflicts."
Another protester was violently evicted after he spoke out about the death of Angolan national
A shareholder interrupted proceedings to question the board about the violent removal of protesters. He said: "This cannot be acceptable. You cannot have people being dragged out." Another shareholder said: "We feel very uncomfortable about our company doing this."
A total of 29 security guards and other personnel were positioned in the room.
One G4S investor,
Speaking to the Guardian after the meeting, Connolly denied that protesting shareholders had been treated violently by the company's guards. He said protesters had been warned at the start of the meeting that if they caused a disruption they would be asked to leave.
"If someone refuses to leave and lies down on the floor they will be assisted to leave," he said. "I saw one person carried out. How else do you get someone to leave if they continue [to protest] without helping them out?"
G4S has denied any involvement in torture or human rights abuses. Connolly said the company had already decided not to renew its contracts to maintain prisons in
An independent report commissioned by G4S after protests at last year's AGM found that the firm "had no causal or contributory role in human rights violations".
Protesters made reference to
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