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POSCO war Zone - Amnesty flags forcibly eviction to acquire land
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Tuesday, 09 Jul 2013
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Human rights watch dog Amnesty International India has demanded that authorities in the state of Odisha must provide immediate remedy and reparation to families forcibly evicted in Jagatsinghpur district for a project proposed by South Korean steel company POSCO

Mr Shashikumar Velath director of Programs at Amnesty International India said “These evictions were unlawful and have devastated the livelihoods of thousands of people. Authorities acquired land without engaging in genuine consultation with affected persons, or providing adequate notice or adequate compensation. They have been violating the rights of these villagers for years. They must now ensure that the affected families receive effective remedies.”

He said “The central and state governments have a duty to respect and protect the rights of these communities, and they need to act accordingly. For starters, victims of forced evictions must have access to effective remedies and the right to reparation. POSCO must carry out a comprehensive human rights impact assessment in consultation with local communities. Authorities must recognize individual and community claims to land, carry out genuine consultation with those affected, and only carry out further evictions as a last resort, as required by international standards. Any unnecessary use of force or other rights violations committed by the police must be investigated and those responsible, including those with command responsibility, should be held to account.”

He urged that "Under the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, companies have a responsibility to respect all human rights. POSCO must ensure that it takes steps to become aware of, prevent and address the adverse human rights impacts linked to land acquisition for its project."

According to the UN Basic Principles and Guidelines on Development based evictions and displacement, all persons threatened with or subject to forced evictions have the right to timely remedy which includes a fair hearing, access to legal counsel, legal aid, return, restitution, resettlement, rehabilitation and compensation.

Officials from the Odisha government and police resumed forced evictions on 28 June 2013 in continuing efforts to acquire land for the project. On the same day, police personnel baton charged protestors, injuring at least 20 people.

Source - Strategic Research Institute

(www.steelguru.com)

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