CBD COP11: Mining is leading to grave rights abuses in India, says Amnesty CEO

Rio Conventions Pavilion TV, CBD COP11 (15/10/2012) – G. Ananthapadmanabhan, Chief Executive of Amnesty International, discusses the rights abuses associated with mining, especially coal mining, in India.

Ananthapadmanabhan describes the ‘rampant’ abuse of rights by corporations granted government licenses to mine. He also describes the assistance he alleges state officials to have given these corporations.

Ananthapadmanabhan states that different rights abuses happen before and during mining. Before mining the political and civil rights of local people are restricted, with rights to protest and to pass resolutions in local councils violated. He argues that the process of mining itself then leads to the violation of very fundamental human rights to survival as pollution destroys livelihoods and access to water.

Ananthapadmanabhan describes the techniques used to violate these human rights, which he describes as occurring under a system of ‘crony capitalism’. He alleges that the police are involved in harassment of local opponents to mining using false charges – in particular charges of sedition, which was often used by British colonialists to suppress Gandhi. Ananthapadmanabhan even goes so far as to allege that activists have been shot at by people known to be associated with mining companies.