Monday, 2 July 2001
FREE SPEECH: Company Linked To Bush Seeks Gag On Guardian
The Canadian mining company Barrick is trying to gag a British newspaper and to force the U.S. journalist Greg Palast to remove an article about Barrick from his Web site. Barrick is suing Guardian Newspapers over an Observer article by Mr. Palast published last year that quoted an Amnesty International report alleging that 50 miners had been buried alive in Tanzania by a company which Barrick later took over. Palast was investigating corporate links to George Bush Sr., who worked for Barrick after leaving the White House. It's thought that The Observer's lawyers might be forced to settle out of court and retract the story, even though miners have given witness statements. Amnesty is now refusing to comment on the allegations, although its original report remains online and now notes that the Tanzanian government has refused to complete an investigation into the deaths. Palast said: "Barrick is shopping around the world for libel courts which will hear its case and silence human rights workers and reporters. It is using the vicious British libel laws to gag freedom of speech."