Habi Center For Environmental Rights » Hazardous industries in Arab Abu Saaid, News, Press releases » Response to the allegations of the Helwan Fertilizer Company – Third statement on Arab Abu Saa’id

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Response to the allegations of the Helwan Fertilizer Company – Third statement on Arab Abu Saa’id

November 18, 2013 by   ·   No comments

Response to the allegations of the Helwan Fertilizer Company – Third statement on Arab Abu Saa’id

 

The Habi Center for Environmental Rights sent a letter to the organization “Business and Human Rights” (which follows up on companies’ human rights record) about how the Helwan Fertilizer Company is violating the right of citizens to defend their environmental rights by exercising their civil and political rights, by filing a direct complaint and accusing the inhabitants of Arab Abu Saa’id and other nearby villages of being thugs after these inhabitants organised a manifestation to demand that the company stops polluting.

 

Based on this letter “Business and Human Rights” addressed the Helwan Fertilizer Company to clarify the situation. The Helwan Fertilizer Company answered that the pollution is within the limits as is permitted in the fourth environmental law of 1994 and that the area is severely polluted because of the presence of an iron and steel factory, a cokes factory, brick factories and power plants.

So we at Habi wonder why the Helwan Fertilizer Company chose to set up their company in this already severely polluted area, and how it got approved by the relevant authorities?

 

Likewise, the Helwan Company for Fertilizer claims that all the reports the Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency (EEAA) wrote about their factory show that the factory is following regulations, and that the company is connected to an online network which allows the EEAA to follow the pollution level at the factory

So we at Habi are wondering, if the company is as committed as they say to the environmental regulations, why the EEAA filed several records against the courts and subsequently filled environmental misdemeanours against the company, which in one case resulted in a condemnation for pollution and a 1000 Egyptian pound fine. How was the company environmentally compliant as they say in their response, if you look at what these records, misdemeanors and court judgements expose?

 

The chairman of the company called Khaled Abu Saa’id (which is the defendant in the misdemeanour the company filled) and some other citizens troublemakers, and claims Khaled has led a campaign against the company in newspapers and on television by spreading false information about the company for the sole purpose of having people from the village employed in the company?

Habi says that the company, instead of having the information corrected in newspapers and on television stations, find it easier and quicker to shut the mouths of citizens and have them jailed because they use their right to demonstrate to claim their environmental rights.

 

The chairman of the Board of Directors of Helwan Fertilizer Company also claimed Khaled Abu Saaid, and many other citizens whom he described as naïve, tried to prevent employees’ vehicles from entering the company and that this is the reason he raised the misdemeanour.

Habi says that the Chairman of the Board of Directors fails to mention in his response to “Business and Human Rights” that he accused Khaled Abu Saa’id and another person in the same offense of having prevented its production from leaving the company and also did not mention that he (the president of the company) filled several records to the police and the prosecutor at the time of these alleged incidents and that the prosecutor after investigation concluded these allegations against Khaled Abu Saa’id void. These previous failed attempts of the Helwan Fertilizer Company to file a record, obliged the company to raise a direct misdemeanour in court without involving the prosecutor to intimidate the citizens and not permit them to exercise their civil rights to defend their environmental rights.

 

Habi notes how the charges from the president of the company against Khaled Abu Saa’id and others, whether to prevent employees’ vehicles from entering the company or to prevent the production to be offered to the market (as stated in the complaint) are all accusations that are not based on evidence to such an extent that the prosecutor already put aside the records they base their accusations on (like the one we previously mentioned), this makes us wonder whether this company has a environmental impact assessment which is approved by the EEAA and if so, why the summary of this study hasn’t been published on its website or has been sent to “Business and Human Rights”?

The actions of Helwan Fertilizer Company are a serious indication of how negligent companies are intimidating citizens to prevent them from exercising their civil rights to defend their environmental rights, and this is why this case must be dealt with very seriously.

-The communication with Business and Human Rights is available on their website;

http://www.business-humanrights.org/Links/Repository/1021737

http://www.business-humanrights.org/Search/SearchResults?SearchableText=helwan+fertilizers+company&x=-588&y=-174

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