“The failure of President Obama to speak up will embolden US-based companies to ignore accountability for their involvement in human rights abuses.” Amnesty International.
‘A U.S. company failing to comply with legitimate court order should be explained.’
‘On the eve of President Obama’s trip to India to be the chief guest of India’s Republic Day celebrations, Amnesty International USA urged him to speak up about the Bhopal industrial disaster at a factory owned by US-based company Union Carbide Corporation (UCC), killing 20,000 and injuring thousands more. Even after thirty years, people continue to suffer from the impact of the disaster and the site is not cleaned up.’
Obama arrived in New Delhi on Sunday to take part in Republic Day celebrations on the invitation of Prime minister Narendra Modi. Despite calls from NGOs to address the issue of the Bhopal disaster with Prime Minister Modi, calls from survivors to knowledge previous mistake of the US government regarding the tragedy, and protests over the weekend outside the White House, the President has failed to show any indication that he will address these issues when he meets Modi.
‘The failure of President Obama to speak up will embolden US-based companies to ignore accountability for their involvement in human rights abuses. While he is celebrating Republic day, the president should not forget the people of Bhopal, who still suffer from the effects of the disaster.’
‘President Obama should also explain why a US-based company, the#DowChemical Company (which owns UCC now), is ignoring repeated summons by an Indian Court to explain why its wholly owned subsidiary has failed to appear in India to face serious criminal charges against it in relation to the disaster.’
‘These actions by President Obama will set the course for US-based companies to seriously consider the welfare of Indian citizens affected by their actions. While promoting US business interest in India, President Obama should not ignore the welfare of Indian citizens.’
Survivors appeal to President Obama
Bhopal survivors, supporters and activists sent a letter to President Obama on the occasion of the 30th Anniversary of the Bhopal Disaster. The letter encourages President Obama to ‘acknowledge and express regret for the historical mistakes of the US government described above and facilitate the extradition of John McDonald, Secretary, Union Carbide Corporation to appear before the Bhopal District Court.’
Survivors and activists protest at the White House
Bhopal Disaster survivor Sanjay Verma and Amnesty International held a protest outside the White House on the 23rd January calling for Obama to address Bhopal when he visits India.