Boycott Updates

 

July 6, 2004

 

Dear Boycotters,

 

Please sign the petition to help Aamir Raza get refugee status in Canada.  Forward it to anyone who might wish to sign.  The support of both citizens and non-citizens could well play a role in whether or not he stays in Canada. 

 

Help Nestlé Whistleblower to Safety

 

Syed Aamir Raza Hussain needs your help.  He has been told he may not be able to stay in Canada. 

 

Raza began working for Nestle in Pakistan in 1994, and in accordance with company policy, he helped sell infant formula by buying the loyalty of doctors with gifts of air conditioners, perfume, and lipstick.  In exchange for these gifts, the doctors recommended Nestlé infant formula to their patients instead of breastmilk.  In 1997, Raza realized he could no longer work for the company in good conscience after watching a four-month-old infant die of dehydration caused by bottle-feeding.  He realized that Nestlé’s marketing was making many babies very ill, and that bottle-feeding could kill (UNICEF estimates 1.5 million infants die yearly because they were not breastfed). 

 

Raza resigned and sent Nestle a legal notice of his intent to expose the company’s deadly marketing practices.  Subsequently, he was threatened by Nestle employees and a doctor who had received gifts from the corporation.  Raza wrote a report about Nestle in Pakistan that provided evidence of their malpractice.  While he was in England to expose the corporation’s actions, two men fired six shots through the window of his family’s home in Pakistan.  He sought refugee status in Canada, and has not seen his family since.  While in the country he has missed the funerals of both his parents. 

 

The Immigration and Refugee Board recently denied his plea for refugee status, pending appeal, claiming he was on a “personal crusade against [the] Nestle company”.  The ruling also stated that “The panel seriously questions the plausibility that a multinational company would send out goons to go after the claimant in a shooting incident”.  Unfortunately, past experience shows that large multinational corporations are more than capable of committing violence against those who oppose them.  A lawsuit has been brought against Coca-cola in Columbia for their open relationships with anti-labour death squads, and Nestle itself has been accused of using violent intimidation to control its workforce in the same country.  Raza is facing deportation is hopeful his appeal will be heard and he will be permitted to stay in the country.  If he has taken up a "personal crusade", it is against injustice and greed, and it is a cause that all people should enthusiastically support.  Please visit his website at www.supportaamirraza.org and sign his petition to the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration.

 

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