Category Archives: ICJB Press Releases, Statements, Letters

All press releases, statements, and open letters released by ICJB. Posts are tagged with main topic of release, such as “legal,” “medical,” or “anniversary”

Open Letter to the UN Environmental Programme

To Eric Falt, Director, UNEP Division of Communications and Public Information
Theodore Oben, Head, UNEP Children and Youth Unit
Dear Mr. Falt and Mr. Oben,
We read about the gathering of Young Environmental Leaders in Bangalore, organized by UNEP and sponsored by Bayer. The objective of the meeting is to discuss the environment and the implementation of the UN Millennium Development Goals.
In our opinion your partnership with Bayer thwarts these aims.
This corporation has fought, through its lobbyists, against most agreements on environmental issues, be it the Kyoto Protocol for the protection of the climate, the new EU laws on chemicals, the phasing out of CFCs or efforts to reduce the use of pesticides. At the same time Bayer produces a great number of highly dangerous substances like insecticides, plasticisers, Bisphenol A and phosgene. In the past Bayer was even engaged in the production of PCBs, poison gas, and HIV-tainted blood clotting medication.
Bayer, like any other multinational company, is primarily interested in profits. Bayer´s former CEO, Manfred Schneider, put it this way: “We´re out for profits. This is our job”. And Bayer has a long tradition in trying to “greenwash” its image. The company started dozens of partnerships and sponsorships with medical, environmental or educational organizations. In particular Bayer chooses cooperations in fields where the company is criticized. Bayer has been using these partnerships to deflect criticism by watchdog groups or the media and to use the good image of their partners to present a corporate humanitarian image.
It`s a set-back for efforts to assure environmental protection if corporations like Bayer are allowed to associate themselves with the UN or the United Nations Environmental Programme. Bayer widely uses its involvement with the UN and UNEP to bolster its integrity, for example on the company`s homepage and in numerous advertising brochures. This is an easy and informal way of achieving a positive company image without real-world consequences. To Bayer, supporting UNEP is nothing more than a sheer publicity campaign.
Our group Coalition against BAYER-dangers, based in Germany, has been monitoring the company for 25 years. During this period we have documented hundreds of cases when Bayer´s products or factories harmed people or the environment. For decades we have experienced that Bayer only stopped the production of hazardous products when pressured from the public. For more examples please visit our website or read our article Bayer and the UN Global Compact.
Big corporations are responsible for many environmental and social problems. Big companies reduce costs and increase profits on the public´s expense. Multinationals push for voluntary agreements that hinder the ratification of binding rules to ensure social and environmental standards. Therefore we believe it is not a good idea to partner with multinational companies when pursuing environmental goals.
Accepting money leads to dependency. We fear that UNEP and the Young Environmental Leaders will be less open to make the role of corporations a subject of discussion when receiving support from Bayer. We urge you to stop this cooperation.
Awaiting your answer,
Philipp Mimkes, Hubert Ostendorf, Axel Koehler-Schnura, Jan Pehrke, Uwe Friedrich
Board of the Coalition against BAYER-dangers, Germany
Coalition against BAYER-dangers (Germany)
Please e-mail us to receive our English newsletter Keycode BAYER free of charge. German/Italian/French/Spanish newsletters are also available.
Fax: (+49) 211-333 940 Tel: (+49) 211-333 911
Advisory Board
Prof. Juergen Junginger, designer, Krefeld,
Prof. Dr. Juergen Rochlitz, chemist, former member of the Bundestag, Burgwald
Wolfram Esche, attorney-at-law, Cologne
Dr. Sigrid Müller, pharmacologist, Bremen
Eva Bulling-Schroeter, former member of the Bundestag, Ingolstadt
Prof. Dr. Anton Schneider, construction biologist, Neubeuern
Dorothee Sölle, theologian, Hamburg (died 2003)
Dr. Janis Schmelzer, historian, Berlin
Dr. Erika Abczynski, pediatrician, Dormagen

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Katrina: An open letter to the radical/progressive community

Sunday, Sep. 04, 2005 at 2:05 AM
Dear friends, radicals, progressives and anarchists,
There is this great myth that natural disaster is the “great equalizer” holding no prejudice towards any one race or class. While nature may hold no preference, we live in a society that makes its choice of victim clear. Whether its trailer parks in tornado alley or the low level 9th ward in New Orleans, it is almost always the poor and minorities that carve out their existence in places most vulnerable to nature’s wrath or the wrath of humans with toxic factories and refineries fueled by greed and consumption.
As peace activists, we have consistently pointed out that the Bush administration is siphoning desperately needed funds and resources to fight an illegitimate war in Iraq. We have warned against being stretched too thin and asked the question, what will happen when disaster strikes at home? We now know the answer: the poor, the infirm and the downtrodden will die horrific deaths as federal agencies struggle with their incompetence. By practically disabling FEMA, cutting the budget for the New Orleans levee system and calling the National Guard to arms in Iraq, the Bush administration’s myopic focus on Iraq and the War on Terror has left us more exposed than ever before. In what should be Homeland Security’s shining moment, it is now clear that the Bush administration is ill-prepared to respond to large scale disaster be it at the hands of humans or nature. The lesson comes at the cost of innocent lives that for too long already have been ignored and forgotten on the fringes of society.
As anti-capitalists and anti-racists, we have decried the corporations and brutal system that breeds inequality and heartbreak along the fault-lines of class and race. We have pledged our solidarity to the working class, to the poor and oppressed. We have raised fists and banners in their names but I am stuck in this netherworld between blinding optimism and abject cynicism and lament that for too long that is all we have done (certain exceptions are not ignored). The devastation wrought on New Orleans and the Mississippi shoreline all too clearly exposes the quietly raging river current of class disparity and racism winding throughout this country.
As environmentalists, we have been the right wing’s “chicken little” foretelling of the days to come when furious storms unleashed by global warming would rip through our lives. NASA recently revealed their “smoking gun” for global warming found in studying the ocean and its increasing temperatures. And now in the wake of Katrina even mainstream press is daring to pose the question, could global warming have contributed to Katrina’s strength? According to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, hurricane wind speeds have increased by 50% in 50 years, that warm water is a crucial ingredient to hurricanes, makes such findings even more sobering. As environmentalists, we have warned against disrupting nature’s defense mechanisms against storms whether its clear-cuts begetting landslides in the Pacific Northwest or the eradication of the wetlands surrounding New Orleans for the sake of “development”. We have removed natural defenses and for too long, we people of consciousness have voiced our fear over what the cost will be and our cries have largely fallen on deaf ears.
So, is this intended as an “I told you so” or as a stratagem for how we can capitalize on this and use it for the “movement”? Indeed no, I write this with a heavy heart, a fear of the world becoming more unhinged than it already is and regret that for too long we have “intellectualized” a movement and bounced from issue to issue never linking them together in any meaningful way. Some of us (not all) have missed the forest for the trees and lack deep committed connections to one another and those that suffer daily under this system. We have focused on goals and movements and unconsciously/consciously objectified and tokenized along the way. As radicals, anarchists and progressives it should be our compassion, love and desire to live our lives a better way in balance with nature and one another that sets us apart. Some of our bitter predictions have come true and it’s time to put our money where are mouth is and support the victims of Katrina and a system we defiantly oppose. What were once talking points have becomes screams echoing along the coastline of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. Hopefully people are converging throughout the country with similar orientations, planning how to send aid in any form possible and not waiting for United Way or the Government to tell you how. People are dying folks, the very people we have purported to stand in solidarity with for so long, even more are displaced with whatever possessions they had destroyed. I don’t have perfect answers for what we can do or how we can help but I know there are answers out there. We talk so much of community and whether you’re in Portland, Houston or New York, how we respond will reflect how deep our commitment to community truly is.
As humans, all other “activist” labels aside, we need to come together with a meaningful message of compassion, love and solidarity that is not measured by our words but by our actions.
With love, rage and a little bit of hope,
maureen haver
houston, texas

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Bhopal gassed again

Press Statement from
Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationery Karmachari Sangh
Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Purush Sangharsh Morcha
Bhopal Group for Information and Action
Bhopal ki Aawaaz

In a press conference today, four organizations active on the issues of the Union Carbide December ’84 disaster in Bhopal opposed the surreptitious and unsafe manner in which the safe-keeping of chemical waste within the Union Carbide factory is being carried out. While the organizations were in favour of implementation of the High Court’s directions regarding protecting the chemical waste from the ensuing rains they alleged that up to 10,000 residents of four neighbouring communities were exposed to toxic dust of Hexachlorocyclohexane [HCH] and other chemicals as a result of the work carried out yesterday.
Continue reading Bhopal gassed again

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Amnesty International expresses concern over police brutality in Bhopal

Public Statement
AI Index: ASA 20/022/2005 (Public)
News Service No: 131
19 May 2005
India: Protestors who want clean drinking water face excessive and
unnecessary police force
Amnesty International is concerned about reports of excessive and unnecessary use of force against protesters by police in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh on 17 May 2005. Amnesty International has received reports of police violence at approximately 12:30 on 17 May 2005 against some 300 protestors, including women and children. The protestors were opposing the failure of the Madhya Pradesh state government to provide clean drinking water to the communities affected by the ongoing contamination of the former Union Carbide plant in Bhopal.
Continue reading Amnesty International expresses concern over police brutality in Bhopal

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Declaration from Students for Bhopal: In the 20th Year of the Bhopal Disaster, A Joint Declaration To Fight For Justice

The following Student Declaration to Dow was issued on May 5th, 2005, and was presented to Dow at their annual Shareholder Meeting.

See press release here. 

In the 20th Year of the Bhopal Disaster, A Joint Declaration To Fight For Justice

To The Dow Chemical Company

We are outraged.

Twenty years ago, on Dec. 3rd, 1984, thousands of people in Bhopal, India, died after a catastrophic chemical leak at a Union Carbide pesticide plant. More than 150,000 people were left severely disabled—of whom 20,000 have since died of their injuries­—in a disaster now widely acknowledged as the world’s worst-ever industrial disaster.

Bhopal is not only a disaster, but a corporate crime. None of the six safety systems at the plant were functional, and Union Carbide’s own documents prove the company cut corners on safety and maintenance in order to save money. Today, twenty years after the Bhopal disaster, those who survived the gas remain sick, and the chemicals that Union Carbide left behind in Bhopal have contributed to an epidemic of cancers, birth defects, and other afflictions.

Although Dow Chemical purchased Union Carbide in 2001, it still refuses to accept Carbide’s liabilities in Bhopal—or even admit that they exist. For the past three years, Dow-Carbide has refused to:

1) Clean up the site, which continues to contaminate those near it, or to provide just compensation for those who have been injured or made ill by this poison;
2) Fund medical care, health monitoring and necessary research studies, or even to provide all the information it has on the leaked gases and their medical consequences;
3) Provide alternate livelihood opportunities to victims who can not pursue their usual trade because of their exposure-induced illnesses;
4) Stand trial before the Chief Judicial Magistrate’s court in Bhopal, where Union Carbide faces criminal charges of culpable homicide (manslaughter), and has fled these charges for the past 12 years.

In light of these facts, we, the undersigned students and organizations, have signed this declaration to mark the 20th year of the Bhopal disaster:

We don’t believe Dow-Carbide should be allowed to walk away from what happened in Bhopal. Enron’s crimes may have cost people their retirement portfolios, but Dow-Carbide’s crimes in Bhopal have cost tens of thousands of people their health and their lives. Today, Dow-Carbide seems content to condemn the survivors of Bhopal to wallow in the contamination it left behind. We believe the fact that Dow-Carbide has not acted to stop the ongoing contamination of tens of thousands—for which it is responsible—is inhumane, unjust, and immoral.

We are outraged. We don’t want our institutions of learning associated with a corporation that maintains its profit margins by evading its responsibilities to those it has poisoned. Dow-Carbide’s callous disregard for the value of human life doesn’t seem to have changed since the Vietnam War, and we don’t believe students are going to be any more forgiving now than they were then.

Until Dow resolves its legal and moral responsibilities in Bhopal, we are committed to:

• Educating our fellow students and our communities about the Bhopal disaster and Dow-Carbide’s unresolved responsibilities.
• Organizing within our schools to demand, as during the Vietnam War, that our institutions of learning are not tainted by Dow’s legacy of death.
• Demanding that our institutions do not invest in a company that maintains its profit margins by avoiding the toxic legacies it’s created around the world.

We, the undersigned students and organizations, are committed to continuing and intensifying our campaign for justice in Bhopal. We are committed to organizing a new student movement against your company, the first since the Vietnam War. We are committed to fighting for justice until Dow accepts all of its responsibilities in Bhopal.

You can expect to be surprised by students and supporters of the Bhopal campaign so long as you continue to evade your responsibility in Bhopal. You can expect protests, direct actions, and embarrassment in the media. You can expect students across the world to demand that their institutions of learning sever ties with your company, as they did during the Vietnam War. You can expect this student movement to grow until you fulfill all the demands of the survivors of your disaster.

We are committed to the Battle for Bhopal, and we will not rest until justice is done.


Albany Medical College
Jasbir Virk
virkj at mail dot amc dot edu

University of Arizona
Ranjini Swaminathan, AID-Tucson
tucson at aidindia dot org

Bard College
Samira Desai, Human Rights Project
SD392 at bard dot edu

Bates College
Trang Nguyen, Director, Agent Orange Campaign
tnguyen2 at bates dot edu

Brandenburg University of Technology, Cottbus, Germany
Shrinivas Tukdeo, Bhopal-Cottbus
shrinivastukdeo at yahoo dot com

Brown University
Aditi Bhaskar, Brown Amnesty International Chapter
aditi38 at hotmail dot com

Sushil Jacob, Political Action Chair, South Asian Students Association
Sushil at alumni dot brown dot edu

Rahul Kamath, South Asian Students Association (SASA)

University of California, Berkeley
South Asia Development Alternatives Network
indian_development_group at groups dot yahoo dot com

University of California, Davis
Roshani Parekh, AWAAZ Magazine
Enironmental Policy & Planning Commission,
Associated Students of UC Davis
rrparekh at ucdavis dot edu

University of California, San Diego
Tara Ramanathan
tramanat at ucsd dot edu

Nirmala Tammineni, President
San Diego Chapter, Association for India’s Development
sandiego at aidindia dot org

University of California, Santa Cruz
Tim Krupnik, Department of Environmental Studies

University of Chicago
Allison Hannon, Environmental Concerns Organization (ECO)
ahannon at uchicago dot edu

University of Cincinnati
Rishi Khar, President, AID Cincinnati
aid2 at email dot uc dot edu

Sandesh Samdaria
sandesh_sam at yahoo dot com

Cochin University of Science and Technology, Kerala, India
Anivar Aravind, Stolengeneration
anivar at riseup dot net

Delhi University, India
Madhumita Dutta, We for Bhopal
mdutta at vsnl dot net

Duke University
Somnath Baidya Roy
sbroy at duke dot edu

Emory University
Girija Sankaranarayanan, Association for India’s Development
gsanka2 at emory dot edu

Flintridge Preparatory High School
Preeti Upadhyaya, Students Against Corporate Crime
missprifi at yahoo dot com

GAIA (Global Alternate Information Applications), India
Renjith Kumar.K.G
info_gaia at riseup dot net

Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta
Srinivasan Seetharaman, Association for India’s Development
srini084 at gmail dot com

Georgia State University
Taka Ono, the Greens of Georgia State University
tono1 at student dot gsu dot edu

Grand Valley State University
Paul Damore
damorep at student dot gvsu dot edu

Sara Smolinski, President, Biology Club of GVSU
BIOCLUB at student dot gvsu dot edu

Green Festivals Initiative, Chennai, India
Dharmesh Shah, We Feel Responsible
shahdharmesh at vsnl dot net

Harvard University
Suvrat Raju, Harvard Initiative for Peace and Justice
suvrat at physics dot harvard dot edu

Pratibha Krishnamurthy-Shrivastava
pratibha_shrivastava at ksg06 dot harvard dot edu

Highland Park High School, Dallas, Texas
Christina Billingsley
christina dot billingsley at ssc dot org

Hillsborough High School, Hillsborough, New Jersey
Andy Glaser, Amnesty International Group Coordinator
AG4932 at aol dot com

University of Houston
Chakradhar Iyyunni, Ph.D, Association for India’s Development-Houston
AID at UH dot EDU

Ishaan Kapoor, Association for India’s Development-Houston

IIT Madras, Chennai, India
Yash Jain, We Feel Responsible
kool_yash at yahoo dot com

University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Ra Ravishankar, South Asian Collective
ravishan at students dot uiuc dot edu

Indian Institute of Forest Management, Bhopal, India
Nahar J Muhammed, Representative, Student Council
naharj at naharnet dot com

Indiana University, Bloomington
Yogesh L. Simmhan, AID-Bloomington
ysimmhan at indiana dot edu

Johns Hopkins University
Arun Sripati, Association for India’s Development
aidjhuinfo at yahoo dot com

University of Kansas
Nadim Asrar, Department of Theatre and Film
nadim at ku dot edu

Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge
Anand Chandolu, President, AID Baton Rouge
ch_anandkumar at yahoo dot com

Loyola College, Chennai, India
Someetharan, We Feel Responsible
someeth at yahoo dot com

Mahatma Gandhi University, Kottayam, India
Jibu Thomas, Greenyouth Movement
jambukan at yahoo dot com
91-481-2732002 (hostel)

University of Maryland, College Park
Mohan Bhagat, AID-College Park
bhagat at glue dot umd dot edu

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
Mona Mandal, AID-Boston
info at aidboston dot org

Medical College Thrissur, Kerala, India
Sanitha Sathyan, Stolengeneration
sanithasathyan123 at yahoo dot co dot in

University of Michigan
Varsha Mathrani, Justice for Bhopal, AID-Ann Arbor
raincountry0 at yahoo dot com

Deepti Reddy, Co-facilitator, Environmental Action
dgreddy at umich dot edu

University of Minnesota
Tathagata Mitra, AID Minnesota
mitra6uf at yahoo dot com

University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Naomi Solomon, President, Green Party of UNL
naomispaceboy at yahoo dot com

New York University
Kranthi K Gade, AID – New York
kranthi at cs dot nyu dot edu

Warren Andrews
warren at nyu dot edu

Northampton High School, Northampton, Massachusetts
Tory Michak, Co-President, Amnesty International
nhsamnesty at gmail dot com

University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Chandana Achanta, AID Chapel Hill, Research Triangle
achanta at email dot unc dot edu

University of North Texas
Ambreen Rahman, Amnesty International
theinsideroute at aol dot com

Occidental College
Clayton Perry, Oxy Conscious
perry at oxy dot edu

Penn State University
Sameer Marathe, President, AID Penn State

Uma Asher, Association for South Asia Research

Angeliki Vgontzas, Coordinator, Amnesty International Penn State
Angeliki1 at aol dot com

University of Pennsylvania
Nitin Bakshi, AID Philadelphia
philly at aidindia dot org

Portland State University
Sathish Sundaram
sathish dot sundaram at gmail dot com

Princeton University
Sujata Ray, AID Princeton
sray at Princeton dot EDU

Queens University, Canada
Sadiqa Khan
skhan at kingston dot net

South Asia Forum – Madison
Vidhi Parthasarathy
vidhipartha at gmail dot com

SAPAC (South Asian Progressive Action Collective), Chicago
Alpana Patel

Khelan Bhatt
khelan at hotmail dot com

Stanford University
Sudarshan Suresh, AID-Bay Area
sudarshan dot suresh at gmail dot com

St. Benedict’s Preparatory High School, Newark, New Jersey
Daniel Saraiva, President, SBP Environmental Club
dsaraiva at sbp dot org

Stella Maris and Ethiraj College, Chennai, India
Karuna Amarnath, Students for Society
karunaamarnath at rediffmail dot com

University of Texas, Austin
Nishant Jain, Association for India’s Development – Austin
nishj at umich dot edu

Tufts University
Aditya Nochur, Environmental Consciousness Outreach (ECO)
Aditya dot Nochur at tufts dot edu

Tulane University
Biswanath Gouda, President, AID -New Orleans
bisu_g at yahoo dot com

Vellore Institute of Technology, Chennai, India
Lakshmi Venugopal & Bhuvana Murali, We Feel Responsible
crazylaks at rediffmail dot com
bonzee at gmail dot com

Vintage High School, Napa, California
Sushanna Ellington, Advisor
Amnesty International
Poetry Club
sellington at nvusd dot k12 dot ca dot us

University of Washington
Tapoja Chaudhuri
tapoja at gmail dot com

Wheaton College, Norton, MA
Aditi Desai, South Asian Students Association
adesai at wheatonma dot edu

University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee
Kamayani Swami, AID-Milwaukee
kamayani02 at yahoo dot com

Young Volunteers for the Environment, Togo
M ADESSOU Kwaku, Program Officer, Young Volunteers for the Environment
yvetogo at hotmail dot com


*Neither Amnesty International nor its member chapters endorse boycotts or divestment.

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