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29 Jan 2018

Shafi Musaddique, Independent (UK)

UK mining company faces landmark High Court case over alleged worker abuse in Sierra Leone

A landmark High Court case against a UK mining company accused of abusing workers and villagers near one of its mines in Sierra Leone starts on Monday.

Tonkolili Iron Ore... is alleged to have been complicit in rape, assault, false imprisonment and the murder of a protestor by police, in incidents occurring in 2010 and 2012. The High Court is expected to hear allegations that Tonkolili played a role in the fatal shooting by police of a 24-year-old woman, killed after a protest over pay and conditions.

...Leigh Day, the law firm representing the claimants, said abuses started after the company forced hundreds of families out of their villages to make way for mines. According to Human Rights Watch, villagers received minimal consultation from the company on its plans to expand near Bumbuna in the north of Sierra Leone.

Tonkolili denies responsibility for the incidents against workers and villagers. It claims that the responsibility solely lies with the Sierra Leone police.   

Part of the following timelines

United Kingdom High Court judge to hear victims in Sierra Leone in landmark case of mining company's alleged complicity in police crackdown

Tonkolili Iron Ore lawsuit (re complicity in violence against villagers in Sierra Leone)