Untitled Document
Taking a Closer Look at the Stories Ignored by the Corporate Media
Donate | Fair Use Notice | Who We Are | Contact

NEWS
All News
9-11
Corporatism
Disaster in New Orleans
Economics
Environment
Globalization
Government / The Elite
Human Rights
International Affairs
Iraq War
London Bombing
Media
Police State / Military
Science / Health
Voting Integrity
War on Terrorism
Miscellaneous

COMMENTARY
All Commentaries
9-11
CIA
Corporatism
Economics
Government / The Elite
Imperialism
Iraq War
Media
Police State / Military
Science / Health
Voting Integrity
War on Terrorism

SEARCH/ARCHIVES
Advanced Search
View the Archives

E-mail this Link   Printer Friendly

CORPORATISM -
-

Amnesty accuses oil firms of overriding human rights

Posted in the database on Thursday, September 08th, 2005 @ 12:21:03 MST (1546 views)
by Ewan MacAskill    The Guardian  

Untitled Document

A consortium of western oil companies, led by ExxonMobil, has drawn up legal agreements with African governments that potentially override the human rights of the local populations, according to a report published today by Amnesty International.

The agreements relate to a 665-mile pipeline running from the Doba oilfields in Chad to the Atlantic terminal at Kribi in Cameroon.

Andrea Shemberg, an Amnesty legal adviser, said: "The ExxonMobil-led consortium that operates the pipeline is effectively sidestepping the rule of law in Chad and in Cameroon. Human rights are not negotiable items that companies and governments are permitted to eliminate by contract." ExxonMobil rejected the accusations, insisting that the company has a record of condemning human rights violations.

Amnesty's 54-page report claims the agreements could require Chad and Cameroon to give precedence to the interests of the oil companies over the rights of those living near the pipeline or oilfields. Both governments could face financial penalties if they interrupt the workings of the oilfields or pipelines.

Amnesty expressed concern that the ambiguity of such legal contracts - known as host country agreements - create dangerous precedents.

Amnesty said the operation of the oilfields and the pipeline have already led to alleged abuses in which poor farmers in the Doba region have been displaced and refused compensation, while other villagers have been denied access to the only safe water supply. The report adds that Chad and Cameroon have a poor human rights record.

Chad has agreed with the consortium that, within a pipeline's perimeter, it is forbidden for "any person to undertake activities which may interfere with the construction, operation and maintenance" of the pipeline. Cameroon has agreed to a similar clause. Amnesty recommends that the agreements be amended to ensure that human rights take priority over the interests of the consortium.

An ExxonMobil spokesman in the UK yesterday expressed regret that Amnesty had not consulted the company during the preparation of the report.

"ExxonMobil condemns human rights violations in any form and has actively expressed these views to governments and others around the world," the spokesman said.

The spokesman added that in Chad some oil revenues would be used to help social development projects.

An Amnesty spokeswoman, Sarah Green, said the organisation had discussed the report with Andre Madec, an ExxonMobil representative in the public affairs department at its headquarters in Houston, Texas. She said Amnesty was not adopting an aggressive stance but wanted to enter into a dialogue with ExxonMobil and other companies about such agreements.



Go to Original Article >>>

The views expressed herein are the writers' own and do not necessarily reflect those of Looking Glass News. Click the disclaimer link below for more information.
Email: editor@lookingglassnews.org.

E-mail this Link   Printer Friendly




Untitled Document
Disclaimer
Donate | Fair Use Notice | Who We Are | Contact
Copyright 2005 Looking Glass News.