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NGOs sue cement manufacturer Lafarge in France for alleged complicity in war crimes in Syria

Lafarge_Hope_Cement_Works_Credit_Phil_Sangwell

 

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+ العربية - Hide

Author: ليزا ريو، شيربا

خطوة مهمة في قضية "لافارج سورية": ترشيح ثلاث قضاة تحقيق، 13 يونيو 2017

مؤسسة شيربا Sherpa والمركز الأوروبي للدستور وحقوق الإنسان ECCHR يرحبون بترشيح محكمة باريس العليا لقضاة التحقيق الثلاث...للبدء بتوجيه ادعاءات تتضمن تمويل الإرهاب وتعريض حياة أشخاص للخطر المتعمد ضد المجموعة الفرنسية-السويسرية للصناعة "لافارج هولسيم". قام التحقيق القضائي...بمتابعة الشكوى المرفوعة من قبل الأطراف المعنية: مؤسسة شيربا Sherpa والمركز الأوروبي للدستور وحقوق الإنسان ECCHR وعدد من المدعيين السوريين الذين كانوا ضحايا بشكل مباشر للانتهاكات المذكورة. إن تعيين مجموعة قضاة التحقيق المعروفين يضمن أن جميع التحقيقات الضرورية واللازمة لإثبات الحقيقة سوق تتم باستقلالية تامة بالإضافة لتحديد جميع المسؤوليات...الأمين العام للمركز الأوروبي للدستور وحقوق الإنسان السيد فولفغانغ كاليك، يضيف "إن الأعمال التي تزدهر وتستفيد من حالات النزاع المسلح تعرض نفسها لخطر الإدانة بارتكاب جرائم فظيعة. إن البدء بتحقيقات رسمية بقضية لافارج في سوريا خطوة هامة للتأكٌد...أن الشركات ليسوا فوق القانون ومن الواجب محاسبتهم".

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Article
13 June 2017

France launches judicial inquiry into activities of Lafarge over allegations of financing terrorist enterprise & endangering lives in Syria

Author: Reuters (US)

"France Starts Judicial Inquiry Into LafargeHolcim's Syrian Activities-Source", 13 Jun 2017

France has launched a judicial inquiry into the Syrian activities of cement and construction group LafargeHolcim…with the probe looking into the "financing of terrorist enterprise" and endangering lives.

The source said one judge dealing with anti-terrorism matters and two financial judges were handling the matter…

In April, LafargeHolcim said its chief executive Eric Olsen was leaving after the company admitted it had paid armed groups to keep a factory operating in war-ravaged Syria.

An independent internal inquiry found protection payments made to intermediaries to keep open the Jalabiya plant in northern Syria were not in line with its policies.

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Article
24 April 2017

Lafarge in Syria: the conclusion of their internal report admitted the implication of the parent company

Author: Sherpa

Successive departures...from Lafarge are the first significant steps of the company towards the recognition of its liability...following Sherpa’s complaint...for funding terrorism, complicity in war crimes and crimes against humanity. The internal report, by admitting the French management’s involvement, confirms...the parent company was the final decider for the human rights violations perpetrated in Syria...[T]he French duty of care bill...will now obstruct such a lack of vigilance from a parent company on its supply chain...“Soft law" solutions proposed...are way insufficient and demonstrated their inefficiency...serious human rights violations have to be judged according to hard law in order to ensure justice...

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Article
24 April 2017

Lafarge Scandal Points to Difficulty for Businesses in War Zones

Author: Liz Alderman, New York Times (USA)

[Lafarge S.A.] announced that its chief executive...would resign after an internal investigation...found [its] Syrian [Cement Plant] operation’s managers paid off armed groups to allow safe passage for employees and keep supplies flowing...The company has argued that its local managers saw little [other] recourse...The French economy ministry is pursuing a lawsuit against the company over possible violations of international sanctions...Sherpa...accused the company of complicity in war crimes doing business with the terrorist group Islamic State...Lafarge has declined to publicize which local armed groups it funded, saying only that it involved “sanctioned parties.”...Lafarge said it would create an ethics and integrity committee...

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Article
24 April 2017

LafargeHolcim concludes independent investigation into legacy Syria operations and issues summary of investigation findings

Author: LafargeHolcim

[M]anagers of legacy Lafarge operations were alleged to have had dealings with certain armed groups and sanctioned parties at Lafarge’s plant in Syria...[LafargeHolcim's Board] commissioned an internal investigation...[and] concluded that [the CEO] was not responsible...[as well as that] LCS [Lafarge Cement Syria] used intermediaries...without regard to the identity of the groups involved...The combination of the war zone chaos and the “can-do” approach...may have caused [local management] to seriously misjudge the situation...inconsistent with Lafarge’s policies. Its compliance program...failed to prevent these breaches...There have been significant changes and developments made to the compliance program and infrastructure since...

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Author: Tagesanzeiger

...Eric Olsen, Konzernchef von LafargeHolcim, wird den weltgrössten Zementkonzern am 15. Juli nach nur zwei Jahren an der Spitze verlassen, wie der Konzern am Montag mitteilte. Der Rücktritt erfolgt nach einer internen Untersuchung über Vorgänge bei Lafarge in Syrien... Mitarbeitenden des Unternehmens wurde vorgeworfen, Vereinbarungen mit gewissen bewaffneten Gruppierungen und sanktionierten Parteien getroffen zu haben... Der Verwaltungsrat gab den Rücktritt in einer Medienmitteilung bekannt, «einige Massnahmen in Syrien» seien «nicht akzeptierbar» gewesen und hätten gegen den geltenden Verhaltenskodex» verstossen, heisst es in dem Papier... Im Oktober hatte die französische Staatsanwaltschaft in Zusammenhang mit Geschäften in Syrien Ermittlungen aufgenommen...

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Author: بي بي سي (عربي)

شركة "لافارج" للاسمنت تقر بتمويل جماعات مسلحة في سوريا، 3 مارس 2017

قالت شركة "لافارج هولسيم" لصناعة الأسمنت إن نتائج تحقيقات أجرتها الشركة كشفت أن مصنعها في سوريا قدم تمويلا لجماعات مسلحة محلية. وقالت الشركة إن القائمين على مصنعها في منطقة الجلابية عقدوا ترتيبات "غير مقبولة" مقابل الحفاظ على نشاط المصنع وحماية العاملين به. وأضافت الشركة أن فصائل مسلحة مختلفة "سيطرت أو سعت إلى السيطرة" على المنطقة. وأغلق المصنع الواقع في شمالي سوريا في عام 2014، قبل عام من اندماج شركة "لافارج" الفرنسية مع شركة "هولسيم" السويسرية... وكانت سوريا في ذلك الوقت خاضعة لعقوبات فرضها الاتحاد الأوروبي على حكومة الرئيس السوري بشار الأسد، التي فقدت السيطرة على مساحات شاسعة من الأراضي أمام الجماعات المسلحة المختلفة. وتعتقد الحكومة الفرنسية أن المسؤولين المحليين عن مصنع لافارج اشتروا النفط في سوريا لتزويد المصنع بالطاقة في خطوة تمثل انتهاكا للعقوبات، بحسب وكالة فرانس برس للأنباء.

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Article
2 March 2017

Lafarge admits having provided funds to armed groups in Syria

Author: Sherpa

Following our complaint for financing terrorism and complicity in war crimes and crimes against humanity on November 15th 2016, LafargeHolcim admits it “provided funds to third parties to work out arrangements with a number of these armed groups, including sanctioned parties, in order to maintain operations and ensure safe passage of employees and supplies to and from the plant.”  The internal investigation of Lafarge shouldn’t imply that only the Syrian subsidiary is responsible of arrangements with armed groups.  The French parent company holds 98.7% of the subsidiary, and was most of the time the source of all decisions it made.  This partial recognition of the facts demonstrates yet again the need for a legislation requiring multinationals to respect human rights in the course of their activities abroad.  The multinationals’ duty of care law definitively adopted on 21 February should help to prevent this type of violations...

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Article
2 March 2017

LafargeHolcim responds to Syria Review

Author: LafargeHolcim

In the course of 2016, a number of publications reported allegations involving legacy Lafarge operations at its plant in Syria...The findings of the investigation illustrate that the deterioration of the political situation in Syria posed very difficult challenges for the security and operations of the plant and its employees...It appears from the investigation that the local company provided funds to third parties to work out arrangements with a number of these armed groups...In hindsight, the measures required to continue operations at the plant were unacceptable...Those responsible for the Syria operations appear to have acted in a manner they believed was in the best interests of the company and its employees. However, the investigation revealed significant errors in judgment that are inconsistent with the applicable code of conduct...[T]he Board approved the creation of a new Ethics, Integrity & Risk committee...

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Article
2 March 2017

Syria: LafargeHolcim admits to financing armed groups for protection of cement plant operations

Author: AFP

"French cement giant admits ‘unacceptable practices’ at Syria plant", 2 Mar 2017

LafargeHolcim, a French cement maker, admitted on Thursday that it had paid armed groups in Syria to continue its local operations...[T]he company says it “provided funds to third parties to work out arrangements” with a “number of armed groups, including sanctioned parties”.  The company explains that “different armed factions controlled or sought to control the areas around the plant”...Payments were therefore made to various armed groups “in order to maintain operations and ensure safe passage of employees and supplies to and from the plant”.  “In hindsight, the measures required to continue operations at the plant were unacceptable,”...In 2016 French daily Le Monde reported that Lafarge negotiated with Syrian armed groups...The report was followed later that year by a lawsuit that was launched against Lafarge by the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR), the French anti-corruption NGO Sherpa, and a group of Syrians...The French government also filed a legal complaint against Lafarge for buying oil in Syria to power its Jalabiya factory. Sourcing local oil to operate the plant would have been a violation of EU sanctions...

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