New York - Kalahari Bushmen evictions take the sparkle off De Beers's NY store opening

June 23, 2005

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Prominent feminist Gloria Steinem and more than thirty protesters last night picketed the opening of De Beers's first store in America. Steinem said the Bushmen are 'the real diamonds' of the Kalahari.

Survival and many independent observers believe the Kalahari Bushmen have been evicted from their ancestral homeland in Botswana because of diamonds. All diamond mines in Botswana are run by De Beers.

De Beers holds diamond licences in the reserve and the head of De Beers in Botswana at the time publicly welcomed the Bushmen's eviction.

Earlier this month, three Bushmen were tortured by wildlife officials for suspected hunting. Their genitals were battered and one had petrol poured into his anus. Other cases of torture have also been reported since 1997.

Survival's director Stephen Corry said today, ' We hope this will give a warning signal to De Beers that we are not going to give up until the Bushmen are back on their land.'

For further information, please contact Miriam Ross on (0)20 7687 8734/ [email protected]