Senatorial aspirant and Montserrado County district#13 Representative Saah H. Joseph wants the Management of Sime Darby Plantation Liberia to take care of the health of a suspected thief caught on video tape being tortured on its plantation by company security recently in Bomi County, Western Liberia.
Speaking to reporters on Thursday, 10 May at the Capitol, Rep. Joseph says the main reason members of the House summon the SDPL Management is because of the torture of suspect John Davies, who allegedly stole palm head, not about water, school or hospital, stressing that the company has a responsibility to address the issue.
According to the ruling Coalition lawmaker, the issue of the boy videotaped being tortured that caught the attention of lawmakers is very important, so he wants the company to brief the august body on the status of the victim.
Rep. Joseph’s comment came after Speaker Bhofa Chambers set up a committee to probe circumstances surrounding the video tape posted on social media and report in one week.
But the committee, which visited the plantation returns with recommendations, calling for implementation social corporate responsibility, ignoring the issue that has to do with the tortured victim.
At the same time the House of Representatives has presented its recommendations to the Management of Sime Darby Plantation Liberia to review and come back next Thursday alone with National Bureau of Concession Director General, Gregory Coleman.
SDPL Management appeared twice recently before members of the House to give account of the torture allegation incident that occurred on its plantation for which it was held in contempt after providing conflicting information, and subsequently apologizing to members of the House.
The apology prompted the House to set up a special committee to probe the incident. Same Darby Plantation Liberia Inc. and the Government of Liberia entered into a Concession Agreement on July 2009 for the cultivation of palm.
In a recent statement issued here, parent body Sime Darby Plantation Berhad based in Malaysia regretted the incident, saying, “SDP would like to express our regret that the General Manager of SDPL was unable to disclose the details of the video during the course of the hearing as requested by the House of Representatives.”
“As a responsible global company, SDP would like to reiterate our commitment and strict adherence to our Human Rights Charter. Where adverse human rights impacts arising from our business activities are identified, we are committed to mitigating the negative effects and where possible to address and resolve such impacts in a timely manner”, the statement from headquarters assures.
By Bridgett Milton–Editing by Jonathan Browne