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Author Topic: Canadian Company Accused of Wholesale Murder
sherpafish
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 1568

posted 20 December 2001 11:23 PM      Profile for sherpafish   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Sorry 'bout the formating. A forward I recieved:

>Corporate Watch does not usually request specific, urgent campaign
actions,
>but we had been planning to produce a feature on this issue and were
>overtaken by events which made an urgent call to action seem
appropriate.
>
>Mr. Rugemeleza Nshala, President of the Lawyers' Environmental Action
Team
>(LEAT), a Tanzanian NGO, was arrested on the night of Saturday 25th
>November. LEAT has been actively investigating the alleged killing of
at
>least 62 gold miners as well as illegal evictions and the destruction
of
>livelihoods at Bulyanhulu Gold Mine in Tanzania in 1996, when the site
was
>cleared of artisanal miners by KMCL (Kahama Mining Corporation Ltd, a
>subsidiary of Canadian company Sutton Resources, itself owned by
Barrick
>Gold since March 1999). As of the time of writing, Mr. Rugemeleza is
still
>in jail. He is believed to be facing sedition charges. The police also
>searched the house of Mr. Tendu Lissu, another LEAT worker, who is
currently
>abroad.
>
>The raids follow widespread coverage in the Tanzanian press of LEAT's
>investigation of the Bulyanhulu case. Last Monday (November 19th), LEAT
had
>held a press conference in which it reiterated its call for
>aninternationalcommission of inquiry to investigate the alleged
killings at
>Bulyanhulu.
>
>Background
>The alleged killings LEAT has been investigating relate to the forced
>eviction in August 1996 of as many as 600,000 people mainly artisanal
>(small-scale) miners and their families - from the Bulyanhulu area in
>northern Tanzania claimed by Kahama. LEAT claim they have evidence,
>including videos and eyewitness testimony, that as many as 58 artisanal
>miners were buried alive in their pits when earth-moving machinery was
sent
>in to clear the site, and that several more were shot dead on the
surface
>during the clearances. At the time, a court order was in place
forbidding
>the evictions. No compensation or alternative resettlement of the
artisanal
>miners was provided. LEAT say their evidence also suggests that miners
were
>prevented from rescuing their colleaguestrapped underground.
>A subsequent police investigation was cut short LEAT argue the police
are
>in any case unfit to investigate the allegations as they are heavily
>implicated in the alleged killings.
>
>Please write to theTanzanian High Commissioner in the UK (or your own
>country if you are reading this outside the UK) - a sample letter can
be
>downloaded here. You can fax the letter to them on 0207 491 9321. You
>can also telephone them (polite calls only, please!) on 0207 499 8951.
The
>web page also gives the following email addresses:
>Balozi@tanzania-online.giv.uk and Balozi@tanzarep.demon.co.uk


From: intra-crainial razor dust | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged
Whazzup?
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 1471

posted 02 January 2002 06:57 PM      Profile for Whazzup?     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Click herefor a lengthy investigative piece that seeks to debunk these allegations. Even Amnesty International has backed down from their initial claims.
From: Under the Rubble | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
jeff house
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 518

posted 03 January 2002 10:20 PM      Profile for jeff house     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
That link doesn't work for me, other than to get me to the pages of the National Post. The page itself is blank.


I would be interested in what Amnesty has to say on this. Their Report for the year 2000 states the following:

"In April the government replied to AI's 1998 memorandum about the alleged deaths of small-scale gold-miners in Bulyanhulu in Shinyanga region in 1996. The government denied there had been any deaths and rejected AI's call to open an independent judicial inquiry. AI maintained its criticism of local officials who had violated a court injunction by ordering the mines to be filled, but it was unable to substantiate the allegations of deaths."

So, has their now been an independent judicial inquiry? Have the Tanzanian authorities now reopened the mines which were closed up, in violation of the court order referred to?

Barrick Mines has been quick to initiate legal action against those who claim it is complicit in this whole affair, so an inquiry would certainly clear the air.


From: toronto | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Whazzup?
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 1471

posted 06 January 2002 09:36 PM      Profile for Whazzup?     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Here's the fixed linky thingy. Sorry 'bout that.
From: Under the Rubble | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
jeff house
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 518

posted 07 January 2002 06:12 PM      Profile for jeff house     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I read the National post article. It is no more convincing than the usual corporate screed. The facts seem to be that there are allegations of mass murder against a Canadian corporation. Seven bodies were found, and the article takes the word of the Canadian executives that these people were bandits killed by villagers.

Amnesty has indicated that the figure of 52 deaths
is a "high figure", and suggests that an independent inquiry is needed. That seems to me to be a responsible position. Amnesty still thinks it was unconscionable to close up the mines, contrary to a court injunction, so no investigation could be done.


From: toronto | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Whazzup?
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 1471

posted 08 January 2002 11:24 AM      Profile for Whazzup?     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Amnesty's "responsible" position comes a little late in the day, I'm afraid.

It's 1997 annual report declared unequivocally that miners had been murdered by the company:

quote:
In August [1996], over 50 gold-miners were killed in what may have been extrajudicial executions during evictions from disputed land in an operation involving police, regional authorities in Shinyanga and a Canadian mining company. The men were buried alive when the Canadian company, guarded by police, bulldozed small-scale miners in Bulyanhulu, despite on-the-spot appeals from distraught villagers.

It now admits that none of this can be substantiated. I'm no friend of Canadian mining companies, but when somebody accuses you of murder, saying "sorry, I guess I was wrong" just doesn't cut it.

Greg Palast, who relied on Amnesty for the initial story in the Observer -- and paid dearly for his gullibility -- is furious. According to this story, he thinks nobody should ever trust Amnesty's "information" again.


From: Under the Rubble | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
jeff house
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 518

posted 08 January 2002 06:40 PM      Profile for jeff house     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Gee, isn't that a bit extreme? Never trusting Amnesty again? Their initial document reported the 52 deaths as a fact. They have not now said that it is not a fact, but, faced with the threat of a lawsuit from big corporate power, a lawsuit which would bankrupt the organization whether the 52 are dead or not, they demand an independent investigation.

I would be a lot more sanguine about our friends in the goldmining biz if they were also demanding an independent investigation.

And, in general, it would be irresponsible to "never trust Amnesty again", although many of the world's dictatorships would love us to do just that.


From: toronto | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
Moderator
Babbler # 560

posted 08 January 2002 06:49 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I can't blame the journalist for telling other journalists not to ever trust Amnesty International as a source for their stories. I think he was focusing not on interested citizens never trusting Amnesty as a human rights monitor again, but on journalists using Amnesty as a source. And I think he has an excellent point.

First Amnesty reports this stuff in their Annual report. A journalist picks up on it, thinking it's a reliable source, and that can only be good for Amnesty if they get the widest publicity possible. Then not only does it turn out to be unverifiable (after Amnesty reports it as a definite fact), but they won't even support a journalist who is being sued over Amnesty's bad information. If they had integrity, they would have at least helped this guy defend himself in this libel case. Would that leave Amnesty open to libel? Perhaps. But then, they could be open to it anyhow since they published their own report on the issue.

I don't blame this guy AT ALL for telling journalists to never take the chance of publicizing an Amnesty case again. I sure as hell wouldn't if I were a journalist, especially knowing that Amnesty was sloppy once in their research and then didn't have the integrity to stand behind someone who got in shit for giving their bad research free publicity with the best of intentions.


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
skdadl
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 478

posted 09 January 2002 10:32 AM      Profile for skdadl     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Well, there are ways and ways of reporting everything, including Amnesty reports -- and knowing the ways is one of a journalist's main qualifications.

Amnesty's work is so demonstrably valuable. I can't imagine not supporting them; and it would be a funny kind of journalist who wasn't staying on top of all the data they dig up, however she might hedge her reporting of it.


From: gone | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
WingNut
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 1292

posted 09 January 2002 11:46 AM      Profile for WingNut   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
It now admits that none of this can be substantiated. I'm no friend of Canadian mining companies, but when somebody accuses you of murder, saying "sorry, I guess I was wrong" just doesn't cut it.



Police forces do that all the time. Sometimes they lie and force confessions to convict innocent people. And they never say "sorry." And it most often takes years to reverse such injustices. That Amnesty International admitted it might have made a mistake without any court forcing it to, speaks well of the organization. If anything, I trust it more. Can anyone else think of an organization willing to come forward and admit a possible mistake? Can you Whazzup??

From: Out There | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
Whazzup?
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 1471

posted 09 January 2002 02:09 PM      Profile for Whazzup?     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Agree with skdadl on Amnesty -- it's tough to quantify, but there's little doubt that AI's role as a watchdog and scourge of tyrants has saved lives and freed innocents. My cheque's in the mail.

But in this case, I believe they have erred badly. Palast is a smart journalist, and did nothing more than report AI's allegations, with attribution. I think he has a right to feel burned.

I doubt that AI would appreciate the comfort that WingNut offers them -- that they're better than a rogue police detective who beats a confession out of an innocent man.


From: Under the Rubble | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
WingNut
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 1292

posted 09 January 2002 02:35 PM      Profile for WingNut   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I was not offering Amnesty any comfort. Merely pointing out that they have apologized upon reflection noting they might not have had all the facts. Can you think of another institution that has done that recently or as quickly?
From: Out There | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
Whazzup?
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 1471

posted 09 January 2002 04:24 PM      Profile for Whazzup?     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Can you think of another institution that has done that recently or as quickly?

I suppose not, but I haven't been keeping careful count of the number of institutions who have claimed that dozens of people were intentionally buried alive without having at least some substantiating evidence -- remember, the 1997 report didn't even used the word "alleged."

Why not pause just a moment, WingNut, and acknowledge that a wrong has been done? Then, your attempts at finding something to praise AI for in this whole incident might have a wee bit more credibility.


From: Under the Rubble | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
jeff house
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 518

posted 09 January 2002 07:48 PM      Profile for jeff house     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I agree that Amnesty should have helped the journalist with the lawsuit against him. On the other hand, we should recognise that this company would have the ability to bankrupt Amnesty without ever proving that the published information was wrong. That's what these lawsuits are for. I guarantee that I could bankrupt most Babblers by suing them for libel/slander about me, even if they are quite correct in their allegations. I promise not to though.
From: toronto | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged

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