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Library Baku-Tiblisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline: human rights, ecological and environmental impacts Turkey section

Baku-Tiblisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline: human rights, ecological and environmental impacts Turkey section

Baku-Tiblisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline: human rights, ecological and environmental impacts Turkey section

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Date of publication
December 2004
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This report presents the findings of an international fact finding mission to assess human rights, social and environmental impacts of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BYC) oil pipeline, which BP and other companies (as part of the BTC Consortium) are currently building in order to bring oil from Caspian Sea oilfields to Western markets. It also present findings following attendance at the hearings in the trial of Ferhat Kaya, a human rights defender who was detained and allegedly tortured by police officers as a result of his work with BTC-affected villagers.Regarding the pipeline project the report finds that:serious concerns, particularly relating to human rights abuses, expropriation of land, labour violations, and serious failures in quality control during construction, have been raised by affected peoples, experts, pipeline workers, non-governmental organisations and the project’s own monitoring reportsthroughout much of its time in the field, the Mission was subject to police surveillance; and this use of police power only serves to intimidate affected villagers and others seeking independently to monitor and provide information about the projectthe human rights reforms implemented by the Turkish government in advance of its EU accession application seem to have had little impact in the Northeast region, perhaps because of a relative lack of attention from national and international human rights monitorsthe project seems to be implemented in breach of agreed standards, particularly those relating to land acquisition, potentially placing the project in violation of host country law, project loan conditions and the European Convention on Human Rights.Regarding the court hearing the report finds that:the trial of the police officers on such serious charges was concluded in three short hearings with no apparent detailed questioning of the police officers by either the prosecution or the trial judgethe trial judge did not exercise her powers to investigate further the allegations after the Public Prosecutor suddenly expressed his request to acquit the police officersthe defendant was not given an opportunity to question or have questioned the complainant in the case against him.The report recommends that, in the future, the International Finance Corporation, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the Export Credit Agencies take full account of the political and human rights contexts in which projects will be implemented, including the implications of this context for adherence with required standards. It also recommends that the International Financial Institutions (IFls) explicitly screen projects for their potential human rights impacts.

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