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Swedish MEP condemns imprisonment of Rossport 5

14 July, 2005


Environment policy co-ordinator of the GUE/NGL EU parliamentary group, MEP Jonas Sjöstedt, has condemned in the strongest possible terms the decision to imprison five farmers from Rossport in County Mayo, Ireland and called on the Norwegian Government to instruct Statoil, a Norwegian state owned company, to freeze the project until agreement has been reached on the farmers' concerns.

The men were imprisoned for contempt of court in a dispute with Corrib Gas, a conglomerate made up of Shell, Marathon and Statoil. The company wants to install a gas pipeline on agricultural land owned by the farmers. Due to Health and Safety concerns the farmers in question are unwilling to allow the work to proceed, which has led to them being jailed. As Statoil is a Norwegian state owned company, said MEP Sjöstedt, we call upon the Norwegian Government to instruct Statoil to freeze the project until such time as agreement has been reached on the farmers' concerns.

Sinn Féin MEP Mary Lou McDonald said:

"Multinational companies do not care about local communities - their overriding concern is profit. Corrib gas is completely under the control of a company that can write off all its tax, pays no royalties and sells the
gas back to the Irish state at market value.

"We want to take this opportunity to express our solidarity with those who
have been imprisoned and call for their immediate release.

"We believe that pipelines such as these should come under the terms of the
Seveso Directive on the transport of hazardous materials."    ENDS.



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