Note: Click here to email Herakles Farms and tell the company to stop its intimidation of Nasako Besingi and other defenders of local communities and forests.
-The GJEP Team
January 30, 2014. Source: GRAIN
Herakles Farms is engaged in the development of a controversial 20,000 ha oil palm plantation in the South-West Region of Cameroon that faces strong opposition from affected communities.
Nasako Besingi and his NGO, Struggle to Economise Future Environment (SEFE), have been working alongside other activists and local organisations to protect people’s rights and preserve forests in the area where Herakles is operating. They have been subjected to intimidation, lawsuits, arrests, and violent attacks.
On December 31, 2013 Nasako was summoned, at the request of Herakles Farms, for “publication of false news via the internet”. Nasako’s court case began on January 28, 2014 and he faces a maximum penalty of six months imprisonment and a $4,000 fine.
Herakles’ lawsuit is based on an email that Nasako sent in August 2012 in which he explained how he was ambushed by a group of men that he identified as junior managers of Herakles Farms. Luckily a team of French journalists from France24 happened to be trailing Nasako that day. When their truck appeared, the men let Nasako go and fled. Herakles Farms admits that the men who attacked Nasako were “local service providers”. Nasako and 4 colleagues are also facing other charges for organising “an undeclared public meeting” while distributing anti-Herakles t-shirts to locals. Continue reading