New video shows how ISDS is threatening democracy in Armenia
August 14, 2019: a new 16-minute video by UK organisations Global Justice Now and War on Want documents the threat that ISDS is posing to democratic protest in Armenia.
Lydian International began construction of an open-cast gold mine in 2016, despite local opposition to the project due to the potential environmental impacts. However, after the 2018 revolution, in which the repressive government was removed from power, protests intensified, and locals have held a 24/7 blockade of the roads approaching the mine that has been successful in halting construction and preventing gold from being extracted.
In response to the blockage, Lydian International is using ISDS provisions in the Canada-Armenia and UK-Armenia Bilateral Investment Treaties to push the Armenian government to remove the blockade. In March 2019 the company formally notified the Armenian government that it was bringing a dispute with Armenian press reporting that the company was claiming US$2 billion in compensation if protesters aren’t removed.
The protest continues but it remains to be seen whether the government will stand with the protesters or fold to the company’s pressure.
Read more about the case here: https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/odr/corporate-courts-latest-threat-democracy-armenia/