abusesaffiliationarrow-downarrow-leftarrow-rightarrow-upattack-typeburgerchevron-downchevron-leftchevron-rightchevron-upClock iconclosedeletedevelopment-povertydiscriminationdollardownloademailenvironmentexternal-linkfacebookfiltergenderglobegroupshealthC4067174-3DD9-4B9E-AD64-284FDAAE6338@1xinformation-outlineinformationinstagraminvestment-trade-globalisationissueslabourlanguagesShapeCombined Shapeline, chart, up, arrow, graphLinkedInlocationmap-pinminusnewsorganisationotheroverviewpluspreviewArtboard 185profilerefreshIconnewssearchsecurityPathStock downStock steadyStock uptagticktooltiptwitteruniversalityweb

The content is also available in the following languages: français


23 Feb 2023

Dania Akkad, Middle East Eye (UK)

France: Yemeni torture victims file lawsuit against TotalEnergies over alleged breach of duty of vigilance law

"Yemen: Torture victims accuse Total of breaching French corporate duty law", 23 Feb 2023

Lawyers for two men allegedly detained in secret and then tortured by Emirati forces at a gas plant used as a prison in Yemen have filed a lawsuit against French energy giant TotalEnergies.

The French firm is the largest shareholder of Yemen LNG, the company operating the Balhaf gas liquefaction plant in the southern governorate of Shabwah, where both men were taken in 2018 and 2019, they said.

In the suit filed in the Paris Court of Justice on Wednesday, the lawyers argue that TotalEnergies failed to identify and prevent human rights violations as required by a 2017 French law.

Large French companies under the law must publish an annual plan to establish and mitigate the impacts on human rights and the environment of their work or those of their subsidiaries.

“Total must take responsibility for the violations committed by UAE forces in Balhaf,” said Alexis Thiry, legal advisor for the Geneva-based MENA Rights Group which represents the men.

Thiry said it was “disappointing” that the company had continued to exclude the plant from its vigilance plan “despite being informed of gross human rights abuses on the site on multiple occasions”.

Middle East Eye has sought a comment from TotalEnergies...

On its website, TotalEnergies said in 2019 that it did not have a controlling interest in the plant and “does not intervene directly”. 

“Total does not have any specific information on how the coalition is using the requisitioned areas,” the company said at that time.

Since then, MENA Rights Group said it had sent a formal notice to the company detailing the abuses. The firm, according to the lawyers, responded that it was not bound by due diligence obligations at the plant because it doesn’t control Yemen LNG...