Sime Darby Plantation Berhad, has expressed regret about the incident that occurred few months ago at its operational site that led to the torturing of a young man, who reportedly had stolen palm from the company’s plantation.
“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, the statement issued in Monrovia over the weekend said.
The Management of Sime Darby Plantation Liberia (SDPL) has been charged with contempt by the House of Representatives for deliberately refusing to provide a clear explanation to the body on recent alleged manhandling of a Liberian on the premises of the entity.
Recently, a viral social media video showed a Liberian identified as John Davies being subjected to torture and excruciating treatments by security officers of the Sime Darby Plantation for allegedly stealing palm nuts.
The video drew huge public outcry and criticism with many calling on the government and rights groups to intervene by investigating the company which has also in time past been accused of bad labor practices and gross human rights violations.
Appearing before the House of Representatives last Thursday, SDPL Management could not give a clear account of the incident as General Manager David Parker, failed on several counts to give a clear picture of the incident when asked by House Speaker Bhofal Chambers.
However, Sime Darby Plantation has given assurance to the government of its commitment to upholding the values of human rights. The company said in a statement issued over the weekend.
“We refer to reports by various news publications on what had transpired during the Liberia House of Representatives hearing on Thursday, April 19, 2018. At the hearing, management representatives from Sime Darby Plantation Liberia (SDPL), a subsidiary of SDP, were summoned to provide clarification on the mistreatment allegedly perpetrated by SDPL’s security officers against a Liberian citizen identified as John Davies, the incident of which was video recorded and spread via social media,” the statement added.
According to the company, SDP views this omission as a serious matter and have issued immediate directives for it to be addressed by SDPL. SDP would like to assure that SDPL’s management team will provide full co-operation to the House of Representative and use every opportunity in the next hearing scheduled on 24 April 2018 to demonstrate this commitment.
“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.”