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Oil and Slavery in Sudan

by American Anti-Slavery Group Friday, Jul. 20, 2001 at 2:56 PM
jared@iabolish.com 617-426-8161

Talisman Energy is complicit in human rights violations ranging from slavery to genocide.

BOSTON, MA (iAbolish) – The American Anti-Slavery Group today launched a massive letter-writing campaign to Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien, calling on the government to help end slave raids in Sudan by banning Talisman Energy from operating in the war-torn North African country.

“Canada’s approach of ‘constructive engagement’ with the Sudanese regime must end,” declared Anti-Slavery President Dr. Charles Jacobs. “It has been two years since we first called on Talisman to leave Sudan voluntarily, to end its role as Sudan’s proxy in Western capital markets. Since then, the destruction perpetrated by the Sudanese regime has only increased.”

Talisman’s operations in Sudan have funneled over (US) billion in oil profits into the government’s coffers, funding a brutal war against the country’s black African population. As documented by the United Nations and numerous human rights groups, government-backed militias attack villages in southern Sudan, killing men and gang-raping women. Survivors – especially children – are taken north and enslaved.

In 1999, Canada’s then Foreign Minister Lloyd Axworthy sent an investigative team group to Sudan. The resulting Harker Report was unequivocal: “Oil is exacerbating conflict in Sudan.” Yet, despite this damning report and Axworthy’s previous talk of imposing sanctions on Talisman, Canada has done nothing to stop Western funds from fueling slave raids.

Jacobs insists that the time is ripe for Canada to ban Talisman from Sudan. “The US House of Representatives just passed a bill that would bar Talisman from US stock exchanges because of its actions in Sudan,” Jacobs noted. “Canada must follow suit. Canadian companies should not be in league with genocidal regimes.”

Jacobs announced that the Anti-Slavery Group, in conjunction with a broad-spectrum of religious and human rights organizations, will be delivering this message to Chretien and Foreign Minister John Manley through its iAbolish action network. “The message is simple,” said Jacobs. “Canada must ban Talisman from Sudan.”

The campaign intends to send over 10,000 letters to Chretien and Manley.

“Canada has a proud record on human rights,” commented Jacobs. “Runaway slaves once looked to the country as a shining ‘North Star’ of freedom. But today Canada provides a safe haven for rogue companies complicit in slavery and genocide. This must end.”

To send a letter to the Prime Minister, go to http://www.iAbolish.com/Canada

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