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24 Nov 2022

21 Indigenous Kurya community members file lawsuit in Canada against Barrick Gold over police violence at North Mara mine, Tanzania

On 23 November 2022, 21 Tanzanian nationals filed a lawsuit against Toronto-based mining giant Barrick Gold over alleged police violence at the North Mara mine. The victims, members of the Indigenous Kuria community, have allegedly been tortured, shot, raped, and killed by the police.

The Rights and Accountability in Development (RAID) NGO asserts that the mine has used Tanzanian police, which operates under a signed agreement with the company, for security purposes. This, the NGO argues, is central to the violence exerted in the North Mara Mine.

NGO MiningWatch has also conducted regular human rights field assessments, the last one being in September 2022. They have found levels of alleged violence against local Kuria by police contracted to the mine have remained very high after Barrick Gold took over control of the North Mara Mine. Earlier this year, MiningWatch had accused Barrick Gold of forced evictions, which the company denied.

According to Barrick Gold's spokesperson, the statement is full of inaccuracies, and Barrick intends to "vigorously defend" itself. The company claims it "exercises no control or direction of any nature over the Tanzanian police".

The Canadian Network on Corporate Accountability urges Ottawa to fulfil a pledge to crack down on human rights abuses involving Canadian multinationals.