Anti-Slavery Group President Helps Redeem 2,700 Sudanese Slaves, Calls on Fidelity to Divest from Sudan Oil Project

Apr 03, 2001, 01:00 ET from American Anti-Slavery Group

    BOSTON, April 3 /PRNewswire/ -- The American Anti-Slavery Group announced
 today that its President, Dr. Charles Jacobs, has just returned from a slave
 redemption mission in Sudan that freed over 2,700 women and children.  Jacobs
 -- who gathered firsthand testimony of atrocities committed by the Government
 of Sudan's forces -- renewed his call for American mutual funds to divest from
 international oil companies operating in Sudan.
     "To be present at the moment of redemption was both wonderful and
 outrageous," remarked Jacobs, who joined the mission organized by the
 Zurich-based Christian Solidarity International.  "I watched the joy of
 parents and children reunited -- and I heard of the ravages of slavery
 directly from victims."
     Survivors described slave raids by Arab militia in which villages were
 sacked, men massacred, and women and children taken as war booty.  "I spoke
 with women who were gang-raped repeatedly.  Those who resisted had their
 throats cut... in front of all the women, as a warning," Jacobs said.  "One
 woman told me slave raiders forced her brother to rape her before they did,"
 Jacobs said.  "The gang rape of white women in Kosovo was made a war crime.
 Jacobs said the AASG is seeking help in taking the case of gang-raped black
 slaves to international tribunals."
     As Jacobs left for Sudan, the Boston Globe published a front-page article
 on Fidelity's large investment in the Canadian oil company Talisman Energy
 which, rights organizations say, fuels Khartoum's war effort.  "Americans who
 invest in certain Fidelity funds are unwittingly financing a genocidal 'holy
 war' and a trade in black slaves," noted Jacobs.
     "We launched a divestment campaign against Talisman in July of 1999, and
 we urged shareholder Fidelity to divest.  Yet while many funds have sold their
 stake in Talisman -- including TIAA-CREF, New York City, New Jersey, and
 California pension funds -- Fidelity's has grown dramatically.
     "Fidelity is a strong force for good in the Boston community, but its fund
 managers must not understand the awful consequences of their investment for
 communities in southern Sudan.  I have just witnessed the horrors financed by
 Western oil investment and I again urge Fidelity to stay faithful to its basic
 principles of community and development."
     Jacobs said that Fidelity has not yet responded to requests for a meeting.
 "But when the fund managers see the photographs and hear the testimony, I know
 they will make the right decision."
 
 

SOURCE American Anti-Slavery Group
    BOSTON, April 3 /PRNewswire/ -- The American Anti-Slavery Group announced
 today that its President, Dr. Charles Jacobs, has just returned from a slave
 redemption mission in Sudan that freed over 2,700 women and children.  Jacobs
 -- who gathered firsthand testimony of atrocities committed by the Government
 of Sudan's forces -- renewed his call for American mutual funds to divest from
 international oil companies operating in Sudan.
     "To be present at the moment of redemption was both wonderful and
 outrageous," remarked Jacobs, who joined the mission organized by the
 Zurich-based Christian Solidarity International.  "I watched the joy of
 parents and children reunited -- and I heard of the ravages of slavery
 directly from victims."
     Survivors described slave raids by Arab militia in which villages were
 sacked, men massacred, and women and children taken as war booty.  "I spoke
 with women who were gang-raped repeatedly.  Those who resisted had their
 throats cut... in front of all the women, as a warning," Jacobs said.  "One
 woman told me slave raiders forced her brother to rape her before they did,"
 Jacobs said.  "The gang rape of white women in Kosovo was made a war crime.
 Jacobs said the AASG is seeking help in taking the case of gang-raped black
 slaves to international tribunals."
     As Jacobs left for Sudan, the Boston Globe published a front-page article
 on Fidelity's large investment in the Canadian oil company Talisman Energy
 which, rights organizations say, fuels Khartoum's war effort.  "Americans who
 invest in certain Fidelity funds are unwittingly financing a genocidal 'holy
 war' and a trade in black slaves," noted Jacobs.
     "We launched a divestment campaign against Talisman in July of 1999, and
 we urged shareholder Fidelity to divest.  Yet while many funds have sold their
 stake in Talisman -- including TIAA-CREF, New York City, New Jersey, and
 California pension funds -- Fidelity's has grown dramatically.
     "Fidelity is a strong force for good in the Boston community, but its fund
 managers must not understand the awful consequences of their investment for
 communities in southern Sudan.  I have just witnessed the horrors financed by
 Western oil investment and I again urge Fidelity to stay faithful to its basic
 principles of community and development."
     Jacobs said that Fidelity has not yet responded to requests for a meeting.
 "But when the fund managers see the photographs and hear the testimony, I know
 they will make the right decision."
 
 SOURCE  American Anti-Slavery Group