BNP Paribas to Face Human Rights Claims Over Sudan Work

BNP Paribas will have to defend itself against a U.S. lawsuit claiming the bank facilitated human rights abuses in Sudan after a New York federal judge rejected parts of its request to dismiss the case. The suit claims BNP’s decision to continue serving as Sudan’s banker in the 1990s and 2000s in the face of global condemnation enabled the then-regime to remain in place. Civil war and ethnic cleansing campaigns lead to the abuse and death of hundreds of thousands of people. BNP pleaded guilty to violating U.S. sanctions policy on Sudan, Iran and Cuba in 2014.

In the new ruling, Justice Nathan concluded the victims had made a sufficient showing that BNP was aware of the atrocities being carried out by Sudan’s government and continued providing it with access to the global financial system anyway, taking steps to conceal it in the process. In helping the regime sell oil on global markets, the bank had a role in assisting Sudan to fund a military that was engaged in a campaign of human rights abuses, the judge ruled.

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