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Kurdish Human Rights Project: This is the legacy website of the Kurdish Human Rights Project, containing reports and news pertaining to human rights issues in the Kurdish Regions for 20 years.

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Pipeline communities blast unprecedented BP profits


Whilst BP looks set to break all company records with expected profits of £12 billion, communities along its controversial Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline in Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey are still struggling to be compensated for damage to their land and livelihoods. Campaigners from an international coalition [1] said the oil company must be held to account over its involvement in the pipeline, which will pump oil from Azerbaijan at a rate of one million barrels a day.


Villagers complain of paltry compensation – in Turkey less than the price of a packet of cigarettes per square metre of land used – and of damages to buildings and roads which have still to be remedied [2].


Not one drop of the oil from the pipeline will go to villagers in Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey, many of whom have access to neither electricity nor gas supplies. Instead the pipeline will take the oil to western markets. Villagers along the pipeline have also been subject to human rights abuses and critics have been detained by the security forces [3]. The pipeline also poses a huge threat environmentally [4].


Mayis Gulaliyev from the Centre for Civic Initiatives (CCI) in Azerbaijan said: “Huge profits for oil companies come at the expense of the environment and human rights - those living along the route of the Baku-Ceyhan pipeline and local workers are not getting a fair deal. BP has been making over £1million every hour yet villagers affected by its pipeline have still to be properly compensated.”


“An international coalition of civil society organisations has undertaken to continue monitoring the pipeline. We are seeking justice for the communities who have been disadvantaged,” says Kerim Yildiz, Executive Director of the Kurdish Human Rights Project.


Mary Taylor, BTC campaigner for Friends of the Earth, said: “These profits reflect the huge scale of BP’s contribution to climate change. There has to be greater corporate accountability for the damage sustained by the environment and communities. Fossil fuel exploitation has global impacts yet the profits benefit only a few.”



Notes to editors

[1] The Baku Ceyhan Campaign includes the Kurdish Human Rights Project, The Corner House, Friends of the Earth and PLATFORM in the UK , plus a number of partners in other countries including the Centre for Civic Initiatives in Azerbaijan . For more information, see:


[2] Preliminary Report of Fact Finding Mission to Georgia and Turkey , September 2005. The FFM, consisting of representatives of the Kurdish Human Rights Project (UK), The Corner House (UK), PLATFORM (UK), Green Alternative (GE), Urgewald (DE), Centre for Civic Initiatives (AZ), The Committee of Oil Industry Workers' Rights Protection (AZ), CEE Bankwatch Network and a UK barrister, conducted interviews in towns and villages between Tbilisi ( Georgia ) and Ardahan ( Turkey ).


[3] One Turkish citizen, Ferhat Kaya, who has been helping affected villagers, has been imprisoned and allegedly tortured. Many other instances of intimidation of villagers have been reported


[4] For example, the pipeline passes over valuable mineral water reserves in Georgia; a controversial and experimental coating which has been used in the pipe joints is thought to be at high risk of failure; some regions are seismically unstable; and one million barrels of oil a day is equivalent to 160 million tons of carbon dioxide per year or 30% of the UK's total annual emissions.



Kurdish Human Rights Project * Friends of the Earth (EWNI) * Corner House * PLATFORM * Baku Ceyhan Campaign

Contact Nick Hildyard +44 (0) 1258 473795
Mary Taylor +44 (0) 20 7566 1687