Amnesty petition calls for cobalt disclosures

Tri-City members of Amnesty International will be in Port Moody on Sunday, collecting names for a petition to press mega-corporations to reveal their sources of cobalt.

Tri-City members of Amnesty International will be in Port Moody on Sunday, collecting names for a petition to press mega-corporations to reveal their sources of cobalt.

The chemical element is mined to make rechargeable batteries, with half of the supply coming from the Democratic Republic of Congo in Africa.

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And researchers with the human rights group say the miners are extracting cobalt in dangerous environments, often in tunnels dug by hand that are prone to collapsing. The miners also work up to 12 hours a day, earning between $1 and $2 daily.

According to the local Amnesty chapter, Apple and Samsung are now looking to the Amnesty reports; however, Microsoft has yet to investigate. Amnesty’s petition calls for companies such as Microsoft to publish where they get their cobalt from.

Amnesty members will be at Rocky Point Park (2800-block of Murray Street) on Aug. 12 from 3 to 6 p.m. to gather signatures and, at 4 p.m., Mohamad Khademyani will discuss Amnesty’s role in shedding light on human rights abuses.

Hamid Barhrmmi will also discuss the plight of Ramin Hossein Panshi, a 22-year-old Iranian Kurd who is under a death sentence, while visitors to the Amnesty booth can learn about Iranian-Canadian Saeed Malekpour, who recently marked his 43rd birthday in Evin Prison where he has spent 10 years.

• Visit amnesty.ca or call 604-941-2606.

jcleugh@tricitynews.com
 

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