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Sierra Leone villagers recount abuse in UK mining firm case
Author: News24 (So. Africa), Published on: 7 February 2018
A British court heard testimony of the alleged complicity of a British mining company in police brutality including rape...in an unusual hearing held in Sierra Leone. Hearings in the civil case, brought by 142 claimants seeking damages from Tonkolili Iron Ore Ltd, began...in Freetown, in what is believed to be the first time the British High Court will be heard overseas...British courts agreed to hear the lawsuit because the iron ore producer was previously a subsidiary of African Minerals Ltd (AML), which was headquartered in London before it went into administration in 2015. The court heard testimony from a woman who said she was picked up by police and company workers at her village near the mine while selling oranges in Bumbuna, northern Sierra Leone, in 2010...The claimants argue that the company effectively oversaw policing of its mine and surrounding areas where protests turned deadly in two incidents in 2010 and 2012. Villagers allegedly set up a roadblock to stop the company from incurring on their land in 2012, only to be faced with police who opened fire...Tonkolili Iron Ore Ltd, which is now a subsidiary of China-based Shandong Iron and Steel Group Co., Ltd, denies liability for the incidents...