By Gal Karniel 2/24/08 | Ma’ariv on-line (Israel)
(Translation by Adalah-NY)
Human rights organizations around the world warn against wearing Angolan diamonds at the Oscar ceremony. Again Leviev is in the headlines.
Leviev is loaning Oscar nominees jewelry for the award ceremony tonight organized by the U.S. film academy (Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences).
Human rights activists from Adalah-NY have asked the organizers of the 80th Oscar ceremony to respond in this matter.
In their words, many of Leviev’s spheres of operation are involved in human rights violations. They refer among other things to the trade and mining of diamonds in Angola, for which the population there pays a high price in blood.
Only last year the film “Blood Diamond” with Leonardo di Caprio was nominated for five Oscar awards. ‘Blood diamonds’, the film’s subject, have funded or continue to fund the terrible civil wars in the whole of Africa, including Angola.
This year the fear is that Oscar nominees might wear diamonds that have bypassed the “Kimberley Process” designed to prevent the trade of blood diamonds.
According to the diamond industry’s annual report, the system succeeds in identifying only 89% of diamonds mined in Angola that were involved in human rights violations. This means that upwards of one million carat’s worth of diamonds per year come out of Angola onto the free market.
According to Adalah-NY, Leviev is directly involved in immoral mining of these diamonds in Angola.
Rafael Marquez, a human rights monitor in Angola, reported “humiliation, whipping, torture, sexual exploitation, and in some cases murder” of the miners.
So far, there has been no reaction from the Academy Award ceremony organizers.