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Fabergé owners face London High Court battle over alleged human rights abuses

Author: Matthew Renshaw, Leigh Day (UK), Published on: 16 April 2018

Law firm Leigh Day has issued proceedings at the High Court in London against Gemfields Limited, a London-based mining company which owns Fabergé...In the legal claims, over 100 Mozambicans allege serious human rights abuses on or around the Montepuez Ruby Mine in Northern Mozambique which is owned by Gemfields Limited’s Mozambican subsidiary, in which it holds a 75% controlling stake.  The formal proceedings were served on Gemfields Limited in April 2018.  The Claimants allege that artisanal miners and members of the local communities surrounding the mine have suffered serious human rights abuses over many years at the hands of the security forces at the Gemfields’ mine in Mozambique...The claimants allege that they have been shot, beaten, subjected to humiliating treatment and sexual abuse, unlawfully detained, and/or forced to carry out menial labour.  Four Claimants are bringing claims on behalf of their sons who were allegedly shot dead by security forces on the Ruby Mine...In the legal claims, the Claimants allege that a team of expatriate private security consultants head up the security operation in Mozambique and direct and control the other security personnel on the mine...Many of these expatriates have military backgrounds and are supported by a private security contractor called Arkhê Risk Solutions (a subsidiary of the South African company, Omega Risk Solutions) and the Mine’s own security force which they call the Quick Response Team (QRT)...

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