Angola: Maka Angola denounces alleged torture of miners by Bikuar security guards; the company, Sociedade Mineira do Cuango and ITM Mining deny the accusations

Angola torture of miners_credit_Maka Angola_http://www.makaangola.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/Bicuar%201-595x280.png

Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited Endiama, Sociedade Mineira do Cuango and ITM Mining to respond to allegations of human rights abuses of miners in Lunda-Norte, Angola. Sociedade Mineira do Cuango and ITM responded. We would like to clarify that we contacted ITM several times although it indicates in its response that we did not. We thank the company for forwarding the response of Bikuari Segurança Privada. We did not receive any response from Endiama.

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Company non-response
27 January 2017

Endiama

Company response
27 January 2017

ITMs response to allegations against Bikuari Segurança Privada in Lunda Norte

Author: ITM Mining (Angola)

[The introductory letter summary in Portuguese is available here and the response summary in English is below]

A video was brought to the attention of the Board of Direcors of ITM (the Board) by its representative at the Sociedade Mineira do Cuango around the 17th June 2016 accusing Bikuari Segurança Privada…of allegedly abusing illegal miners in the Dambi area of the Cuango on the 21st April 2016. The Board has seen the video and found it horrific, repugnant and shocking and…solicited a response and clarification from the Cuango, the concessionaire of the area with respect to the accusations…The Board has noted that the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre (the Centre) has made a claim that they have requested ITM Mining Limited (ITM) to respond to the video referent Bikuari. ITM publicly declares that no contact was received from the Centre…In response to our request, Cuango received the reply…from the subcontracted security company Bikuari and which was then sent to ITM and its Board. Bikuaris’ response…emphasizes that they clearly admit the video was made by ex-Bikuari employees and affirm that the video was not filmed within the area of Cuango but was made in a different diamond concession namely Calonda (some 500 km distant from Cuango), and that it was made in 2014 and not 2016. Bikuari were the contracted security company in Calonda in 2014 and took the actions detailed in the annexed letter…ITM would like to take this opportunity to vehemently condemn and repudiate all acts of aggression, abuse, and any other actions that violate people’s life and dignity…[I]t is not, has never been and nor will it ever be a policy of the Company or companies in which it participates to contemplate, implement and practi[c]e actions against the population with the intention of committing atrocities and abuses…Andrew Machin, Shareholders representative to Sociedade Mineira do Cuango

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Article
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Author: Organizacoes Bikuari (Angola)

[Queixa-crime enviada na resposta da ITM Mining está disponível na página 6]

A Procuradoria Geral da República/Lunda Norte Assunto: Queixa As Organizações…B[i]kuari…tomou conhecimento de um video…“A Tortura da Catana Continua” cujo conteúdo chocou…toda a comunidade que observou a agressividade e o pendor dos seus praticantes. Na verdade os praticantes de tais atos pertenciam as forças da Bikuari Segurança Privada através do seu destacamento localizado na área de Calonda. Este video decorrera nas redes sociais em 2014, e as medidas primarias tomadas foram as de expulsão dos efetivos da Bikuari que facilmente foram na altura identificados, como sendo Agostinho José, Mussumari e Marculino…[E]ntre os dias 13 a 18 de Junho, Rafael Marques de Morais faz passar o video como sendo atual e que as imagens refletiam na região do Cuango, onde garimpeiros eram maltratados daquela forma brutal. Digno Procurador, pelo forma ousada e desonesta que Rafael Marques de Morais acusou de maneira tão irresponsável a Bikuari Segurança Privada…Viemos através desta e no direito que nos toca e ao respeito do código penal e da constituição da República, solicitar a abertura de um processo crime contra seus autores Rafael Marques de Morais e outros autores identificados e localizados. Dundo, 17 de junho de 2016…A Direção

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Company response
27 January 2017

Response by Bikuari Segurança Privada, of Organizações Bikuari

Author: Organizacoes Bikuari (Angola)

[The company response is in Portuguese and available on pages 4 e 5]

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Article
30 August 2016

Angola: Video shows diamond diggers being tortured in Angola

Author: Manuel Ribeiro, Global Voices Online

“New footage shows diamond diggers being tortured with a machete in Angola”, 23 June 2016

A new video showing 10 diamond diggers being tortured with guards wielding machetes in Angola has emerged on YouTube. According to independent news site Maka Angola, which was founded by human rights journalist Rafael Marques, the video was filmed in April. The…footage show[s]…“vicious” and “sadistic” violence against the unarmed men, who are seated on the ground…Maka Angola reported that “the assailants have been identified as security guards working for a private company which operates in the diamond-mining region of Lunda-Norte,” a northeastern province of Angola. “We are in 2016 and still have diggers being tortured with a machete,” Marques said in a recent interview with Deutsche Welle, Germany's international broadcaster. Many of these atrocities are carried out by former combatants who now work as private security guards, but their actions don't often make headlines. According to Marques, authorities aren't doing as much as they could be to stop it…

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Article
30 August 2016

Angola: Video shows scenes of miners being tortured allegedly by Bicuar security guards hired by Sociedade Mineira do Cuango

Author: Maka Angola (Angola)

“A tortura da Catana em Cafunfo/ The machete torture in Cafunfo”, 15 June 2015

...The video was filmed on April 21, 2016 in the diamond-rich area of Cafunfo in the northeastern province of Lunda-Norte, Angola. The sadistic guards, from Bicuar private security company, provide services for mining company Sociedade Mineira do Cuango. http://bit.ly/1Or2l3A

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Company response
30 August 2016

Sociedade Mineira do Cuango Response

Author: Sociedade Mineira do Cuango (Angola)

The response is available only in Portuguese.

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Article
28 August 2016

Angola: Maka Angola denounces alleged torture of miners by Bicuar security guards hired by Sociedade Mineira do Cuango

Author: Maka Angola (Angola)

“Machete Torture: More Human Rights Abuses In Diamond-Rich Region”,  16 June 2016

“I am Angolan!”, the informal diamond digger keeps screaming in pain and in vain, while the guard repeatedly beats him on the palm of his hands with a machete...As the guard becomes more violent, the victim screams for his mother repeatedly...“Shit! Pardon does not exist”, the guard who is commanding the beatings of up to ten miners, laughs louder. He is known as Bonifácio. Video evidence has emerged of vicious and sadistic beatings recently meted out to informal miners known as ‘garimpeiros’ by private security guards...The video...shows the guards using machetes to intimidate, beat and cut the unarmed men seated on the ground. Blow after blow is meted out to hands, feet and body parts while the victims scream and howl in pain. The assailants have been identified as security guards employed by a private security company named Bicuar, which operates under contract to...diamond-mining company ‘Sociedade Mineira do Cuango’ (SMC), a partnership involving the state diamond company Endiama, ITM-Mining and Lumanhe...Atrocities carried out by...private security guards in Lunda-Norte have been documented...in news reports...[and]...also in...‘Blood Diamonds: Torture and Corruption in Angola’ by Rafael Marques de Morais...

[It refers to Mi-Diamond and Sodiam]

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