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.
25 years ago, Union Carbide pesticide plant in Bhopal, India leaked extremely toxic methyl isocyanate (MIC) into the surrounding city, exposing almost a million people and killing 8-10 thousands in the initial three days. For the last 25 years, Bhopal survivors have sought clean-up, compensation and accountability from Union Carbide to little or no avail. Amnesty International Group 48 and the Association for India’s Development have come together to raise awareness for the initial gas leak and the subsequent 25 years of injustice, and to inspire our community to take an active stance against this tragedy. Please join us in taking a stand.
Date: Thursday, December 3, 2009
Location: US Bank Room, Central Library, 801 SW 10th Avenue, Portland, OR
Download event flyer.
For more information, contact Janie Whitlock at 503-969-7240.
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.