Gruesome Torture Of African Villagers For ‘Blood Rubies’ Worn By Stars

A British mining company will pay over $7 million to settle allegations of torture and murder at ruby mines in the northeast of Mozambique. The red stones, worth millions, have been worn by international actresses Mila Kunis, Bel Powley, and Sophie Cookson, among others.

The settlement covers the murder of at least 18 people allegedly by mine security forces and Mozambican police by shooting, fatal beatings and burial while still alive.

According to the case brought by the British human rights legal firm Leigh Day, there were nearly 200 claims of beatings, torture, and sexual abuse – many leading to such serious injuries that people’s subsequent ability to work was limited. Some 95 property claims were related to the repeated burning of Namucho- Ntoro village.

More claims are possible as local people say there are many other claims which were not included in the London High Court case.

The British miner, Gemfields, which describes itself as “a leading supplier of responsibly sourced colored gemstones,” owns a 75% stake in Montepuez Mining along with a group of Mozambicans allegedly with government ties. “Instances of violence have occurred,” they say, but that they are “not liable for the alleged incidents.”

Gemfields CEO Sean Gilbertson was quoted to say: “We regard this settlement, together with the new community support mechanisms, as a critical step in allowing us to continue to develop our world-class operations at Montepuez in harmony with the local communities.”

The torture and human rights violations were first exposed by prize-winning journalist Estacio Valoi, notably in a 2015 Al Jazeera film, and were confirmed by the Mozambican Lawyers Association which cited in a Aug. 1, 2017 memo “the macabre, degrading and inhuman acts of torture and exceptional violence (that were) perpetrated by members of the riot police.”

According to an article in France24, Gemfields has already earned closed to $132.7 million from the sale of precious stones. In comparison, Mozambique was ranked 7th in a list of countries with the worst per capita income.

A film on Mozambique’s disastrous ruby history with journalist Valoi can be streamed on Al Jazeera.


Source: Global Information Network

1 Comment

  1. GEMEXPLORER on February 22, 2019 at 12:18 pm

    Great reporting on a story that the rest of the world has just let pass with kind words. Seems like paying a few million and making promises to be good makes amends with all the death and torture that took place without even an admission. Had they admitted wrong doing with an intent to make things better in the future I could possibly live with that. But not to admit and just pay money is criminal. Especially when the partners that Gemfields chose are the most corrupt politicians in Mozambique history. Generals and sons of Presidents all cousins related to the same clan and cleptocratic leadership who are ruling the country. When Gemfields made the decision to become partners with the corrupt thugs and political party that is ruling the country, what did they expect from their behavior? Currently the government has implemented 6 month jail sentences to anyone digging to feed his family in their areas. That’s a death sentence to a mother especially the kids if her husband can’t feed the family in that part of the world. Meanwhile instead of a society benefiting from the natural resources of the country, only a General famous for liberating the country gets filthy rich while his people starve. One should ask how a protected animal park became legalized for mining ruby and how is it possible for one General and his political party to control thousands of acres of land allocated to Gemfields.
    I thank the author of this article for their choice of words in explaining exactly the reality of the Gemfields story. And with thugs as partners of Gemfields, I don’t expect this carnage to stop. If I see another video of Gemfields claiming how ethical they are, I’ll puke. Artisinal Small Scale Miners FOREVER. The hell with Colonialist Big companies in business with corrupt politicians. Enough death in Africa. It’s time for the death of corruption.

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