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Lydian International lawsuits against activists (re defamation on environmental hazards, Armenia)

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Since 2018 "Lydian Armenia" CJSC, a subsidiary of Lydian International, aUK-registered gold mining company operating in Armenia, filed at least 14 lawsuits against civil society organisations, lawyers, journalists and local communities for alleged defamation in relation to environmental hazards posed by one of its gold mine projects.

Background

Lydian Internationalis developing the Amulsar gold mine near the touristic spa town of Jermuk, Armenia. Local residents reported adverse impact of the Amulsar project on their health, including increases in asthmatic attacks, lung diseases, dry skin, headaches, and insomnia.

The construction stopped in June 2018 when local people started blocking the access roads to the mine, arguing it posed a threat to their health, environment, and livelihoods. Since July 2018, the government of Armenia has been conducting inspections and has commissioned additional studies to assess if the company is operating in accordance with the Armenian law. In the case of negative assessment, the operation permit could be annulled.

According to CEE Bankwatch Network, as of June 2020, Lydian International has filed at least 14 lawsuits against project critics, including human rights defenders, local communities, lawyers and journalists. For an overview of these lawsuits and additional details, please click here.

News

SLAPPd: the Armenian activists fighting a mining multinational’s lawsuits, CEE Bankwatch Network, 22 Jun 2020

Inside the save Amulsar blockade, The Ecologist, 21 Aug 2019

Armenia: Ongoing judicial harassment and defamation campaign against environmental defenders by the mining company Lydian Armenia, The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, 24 May 2019

Armenia: Judicial harassment and defamation campaigns against several environmental defenders, FIDH, 24 May 2019

Lydian Armenia files lawsuits against three activists, demands rejection of groundless statements, Aysor, 21 Dec 2018

Scientific Assessments

Assessing the social impact of the preparatory and development phases at Lydian International’s Amulsar mine in Armenia through surveys of neighbouring communities, Bank Watch, 6 Oct 2018

UN Submissions

Joint Submission to the UN Universal Periodic Review 35thSession of the UPR Working Group, CIVICUS, 18 Jul 2019

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