First convictions for 1984 Union Carbide disaster in Bhopal

Amnesty International
7 June 2010

First convictions for 1984 Union Carbide disaster in Bhopal too little, too late

Following convictions on Monday of seven Indian citizens for the 1984 Union Carbide gas leak disaster, Amnesty International has called on the Indian and US governments to take the next step by bringing the US-based Union Carbide Corporation (UCC) to justice.

Seven Indian nationals, who formerly worked for the Indian company Union Carbide India Ltd (UCIL), were found guilty by the Bhopal Court of causing death by negligence, a charge that carries a maximum two year sentence.

“These are historic convictions, but it is too little, too late. Twenty-five years is an unacceptable length of time for the survivors of the disaster and families of the dead to have waited for a criminal trial to reach a conclusion,” said Audrey Gaughran, Director of Global Issues at Amnesty International.

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End 25 years of injustice in Bhopal

Shortly before midnight on 2 December 1984, thousands of tonnes of deadly chemicals leaked from Union Carbide’s pesticide plant in Bhopal, central India. Around half a million people were exposed. Between 7,000 and 10,000 people died in the immediate aftermath and a further 15,000 over the next 20 years.

On 2 December 2009, the people of Bhopal will mark the 25th anniversary of the devastating leak. Amnesty International will act in solidarity with the people of Bhopal to highlight the ongoing human rights impacts of the 1984 leak.

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