Deno Gold Lawyer Admits Violations of Workers’ Rights

A gold mine in Armenia

YEREVAN—The Pan-Armenian Environmental Front (PAEF) recently put out a message regarding the lawsuit brought against environmental activist Yeghia Nersesian by Deno Gold Mining Company (now renamed to Dundee Precious Metals Kapan CJSC), a Canadian firm operating in Kapan. Nersesian is accused of defaming and slandering the company’s name in a speech he gave in the United States, where he spoke about miners at Deno Gold being harassed and shocked with electricity.

Since 2006, the Armenian media has covered the countless violations committed by Deno Gold. The company, in turn, has spared no effort to salvage its reputation. In 2011, it took an unprecedented step by firing its CEO Robert Faletta and his wife. Faletta recently returned to Armenia and gave an interview to the Aravot daily newspaper, where he detailed him and his wife’s firing. In the interview, he reveals that one of the main reasons for his removal was the reported incidents of electroshock.

After the interview was published, Deno Gold held a press conference where its lawyer, Sedrak Asatryan, gave some surprising revelations regarding its “good” reputation.

“What actually happened?” Asatryan rhetorically asked during the press conference. “In reality, Deno Gold’s former management in Kapan, specifically Robert Faletta and Farida Faletta, raped the rights of their workers for three years,” said the lawyer. What candor. Don’t the people of Kapan want to sound an alarm about the facts of their exploitation? There were very stern responses at the time against the use of the word “slave” employed by environmental activists in reference to the treatment of workers in Kapan.

Will the Deno Gold Company want to open a trial against its lawyer Sedrak Asatryan for spreading false information and smearing the good reputation of the company, such as it has in the case of Yeghia Nersesian? For isn’t this a unique and damning confession on behalf of the company’s representative?

At the same time as making these statements, Asatryan went out of his way to try to refute the information about the specific use of electr-oshock—given the fact that the judicial process against Yeghia has entered its final stages. On September 10, at 4:30 PM, the Arabkir and Kanaker Zeytoun Court of First Instance is scheduled to publish its decision on Yeghia’s case.

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