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Posted Thu Feb 17 2011: from FreeSpeechAtRisk, via BoingBoing:
Using lawsuits to squelch free speech about environmental destruction
In spring of 2008, multinationals Barrick Gold and Banro Corporation filed lawsuits against authors Alain Deneault, Delphine Abadie, and William Sacher, as well as against their Montreal-based publishing house Ecosociete over the book Noir Canada. Pillage, corruption et criminalité en Afrique (Black Canada. Pillage, corruption and criminality in Africa). The multinationals allege that the book contains false statements about their activities that amount to libel. Despite the well-sourced nature of the material, including reports from the UN, Human Rights Watch, and Amnesty International, they have accused those involved of publishing defamatory statements and are pursuing them for a combined sum of $11 million ($5 million to Banro in an Ontario-based suit, and $6 million to Barrick, filed in Montreal). Our Academic Petition contains further details on the case, as well as the signatures of academic professors from around the world who are pledging their support for the authors and publishing house. Then in February of 2010 Barrick Gold issued a threat of legal action against Vancouver-based publishing house Talonbooks, author Alain Deneault, and the book's translators over their notice of intent to publish a book entitled Imperial Canada Inc. Legal Haven of Choice for the World's Mining Industries. With access to nothing beyond a short description of the material available on the Talonbooks website-with no mention of Barrick-the multinational has threatened further legal action if the book is published and has demanded access to the material prior to its publication.
[Read more stories about: corporate malfeasance, heavy metals, toxic leak, regulatory stupidity, governmental corruption]

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