What a year it has been for all of us! Crude Accountability faced our share of challenges in 2016 as did our local partners and friends. But thanks to your ongoing support we counted many notable successes, and are hopeful and enthusiastic about the year ahead.
Last year we welcomed the decision of the Kazakhstan government to finally relocate the village of Berezovka, located in dangerous proximity to the Karachaganak Oil and Gas Condensate Field. Villagers initiated the demand for relocation over a decade ago. But relocation is still being dragged out and does not adhere to international human rights standards. Although residents lost their homes, their land and their livelihoods, the new housing is substandard and they are receiving only the most minimal compensation.
The children of Berezovka who were poisoned more than two years ago during a toxic chemical release from the field are still suffering terribly, some even still convulsing. Yet they receive sorely inadequate medical treatment, if any. We need your help to continue our campaign to seek proper treatment for them, and to hold the responsible parties accountable for the egregious and negligent causes of their illnesses.
Nonetheless, we are proud to say that we are drawing international attention through our film about the Berezovka children. It was recognized at “The Right Cut,” the first international human rights film festival for short documentaries in Venezuela. The tragedy was also brought to the attention of the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child and that of the Goldman Awards finalists, who are supporting the campaign along with dozens of international non-profits.
This year we published a much-needed report that highlighted abuses of human rights in Turkmenistan. The report exposes systematic violations of the right to freedom of movement there. In coalition with other human rights organizations, we are striving to obtain the truth about more than 100 people who have been forcibly disappeared in Turkmen prisons.
This year, we hosted a group of Russian activists as part of our peer-to-peer exchange program. The group enjoyed a hands-on experience in restoring shorelines, building raingardens, and collaborating with fishermen and farmers to restore the environment in North Carolina. But as a result of Putin’s repressive policies, participants faced serious threats upon their return home.
We expect 2017 to be challenging for human rights and environmental policies both at home and abroad, yet our work has never been more vital. Our local partners, friends, villagers, and parents rely on us, and we rely more and more on individual donors like you.
We ask you to donate generously at https://crudeaccountability.org/support-crude/
or by writing a check to Crude Accountability, P.O. Box 2345, Alexandria, VA 22301. Support Crude and you will be supporting our brave partners in Russia, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan. Stay tuned for a new project we’re initiating in Azerbaijan.
With best wishes for Happy Holidays,
Leanne Grossman Kate Watters
Chair, Board of Directors Executive Director
Crude Accountability Crude Accountability