Landmark High Court case begins over alleged abuses by UK-based mining company in Sierra Leone

Author: Leigh Day, Published on: 26 January 2018

A six week hearing will begin on Monday 29 January in the High Court against iron ore producer Tonkolili Iron Ore Ltd, whose parent company African Minerals Ltd was previously headquartered in the UK, following allegations of human rights abuses against workers and villagers living near one of its mines in Sierra Leone.

It is believed to be the first time a UK High Court hearing will travel to an overseas country in which the human rights abuses are alleged to have taken place by a UK-based company.

...The decision to hold part of the hearing was taken after a number of witnesses were unable to obtain visas to attend trial in the UK and the judge agreed it was important for this evidence to be taken in person rather than by video link.

142 claimants from Sierra Leone have taken the legal action... over claims the company was complicit in the activities by the police of false imprisonment, assault and rape during two incidents in 2010 and 2012.

Allegations will also be heard against the company in relation to its role in the fatal shooting by police of a 24-year-old female... during a protest over working conditions and pay during the 2012 incident.

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Related companies: African Minerals Tonkolili Iron Ore (part of Shandong Iron & Steel Group)