Multimillion pound lawsuit against mining firm over evictions and violent treatment

Tuesday 1 December 2015

Iron ore firm African Minerals Ltd (AML) is accused of complicity in false imprisonment, assault and battery, trespass and theft of the claimants’ property during two incidents near an AML mining site in Bumbuna, Sierra Leone.

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The claimants will put the case before the High Court on Monday 30 November on behalf of 142 claimants. Jacob Bindman of Garden Court Chambers’ International advice and litigation team represents the claimants, led by Richard Hermer QC of Matrix Chambers.

The case has been reported in the national media, including the Guardian.

The claims allege that hundreds of families were evicted from several villages with minimal consultation to allow AML to expand its mining operations. During protests against the mining operation, villagers established a roadblock. The police arrived, allegedly accompanied by AML employees, and opened fire on them. Kadiatu Koroma, one of the claimants, alleges that she was taken, flogged and beaten by police, resulting in a miscarriage.

During a second incident two years later, it is alleged that excessive force was again used by police in an attempt to quash a protest over workers’ wages and treatment at the mine. Eight were wounded and one 24-year-old woman was fatally shot by police.

Jacob Bindman is a member of Garden Court Chambers’ International advice and litigation team. He is instructed by Martyn Day of Leigh Day.

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