A group of more than 20 Tanzanians and their families have filed a lawsuit against Barrick Gold Corp., alleging that they or their loved ones were beaten, shot or killed by police at one of the company’s mines in the African country.
The plaintiffs in the case against the Toronto-based gold miner say five were killed by police, five tortured by them and at least five others were shot by authorities, resulting in serious injuries.
The claim brief says Barrick took operational control of the North Mara mine in 2019, using a security strategy that involved agreements with Tanzanian police to send heavily armed police officers to deal with locals entering the clearing areas.
They say Barrick should have known that police had a long history of using “excessive force” and say the use of deadly force against those killed or injured was arbitrary and unnecessary.
They are seeking unspecified damages related to lost earnings and pain and suffering from personal injuries and wrongful deaths.
Barrick says the claim statement is riddled with inaccuracies and that the mining company has no control or direction over the Tanzanian police, so it will vigorously fight the allegations.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published on November 23, 2022.