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Human rights organization Survival has today targeted US jewellery designer Neil Lane in its continued battle with De Beers, over the eviction of the Central Kalahari Bushmen in Botswana to make way for diamond mining.
It has been reported that to coincide with the November opening of the De Beers store in Beverley Hills, Los Angeles, De Beers has commissioned Neil Lane to create a signature collection of diamonds. Survival and the Bushmen are now urging Neil Lane not to get involved with De Beers.
Survival has had much success with its lobbying campaign. Supermodel Iman famously quit as the face of De Beers; British supermodel Erin O'Connor distanced herself from De Beers stating 'I don't think that doing a job like (being the face of De Beers) would in any way add to my life or make me happy. I would make that stand, and say no'; and only last month British model Lily Cole, the current face of De Beers, stated that she is refusing to work with De Beers again over their human rights record.
In June 2005 Survival and pioneering American feminist Gloria Steinem picketed the opening of De Beers's first US store in New York. Survival supporters urged US celebrities Teri Hatcher and Lindsay Lohan not to cross the picket line.
Stephen Corry, Director of Survival International, said today, ’People in the fashion business need to be made aware of the catastrophic effect diamonds are having on the Bushmen. It is not OK for people to wear diamonds by De Beers until the Bushmen are allowed back to their ancestral lands.'
For further information please contact Miriam Ross on (+44) (0)20 7687 8734 or email [email protected]