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23 Jul 2015

Global Witness

Global Witness report: 'The new snake oil? - violence, threats and false promises at the heart of Liberia’s palm oil expansion'

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'The new snake oil? - violence, threats and false promises at the heart of Liberia’s palm oil expansion', 23 Jul 2015:…This report shows how Liberians are reported to have been violently beaten, threatened, and arrested for protesting the expansion of Golden Veroleum (GVL)…During Liberia’s 2014 Ebola crisis, when…NGOs were staying at home for risk of contagion, GVL significantly – and suspiciously – ramped up its expansion…Community meetings where citizens are encour­aged to sign away their land to GVL are watched over by high-rank­ing Government officials. People report having…no choice but to sign, and while the company says communities are providing their free, prior, and informed consent, Global Witness’ analysis…raises concerns that signatories lacked sufficient information to make informed decisions…GVL operations are protected by a combination of state forces and private security, and The New Snake Oil documents several reported instances of violent assaults and arbitrary arrests…Global Witness is calling on the Liberian Government, GVL, and…international partners to…protect…the rights of communities…