Sinopec Hit With Human Rights Abuse Lawsuit In USA

July 28, 2013 | Print | Email Email | Comments | Category: Law & Order

A wealthy Chinese man is claiming he suffered human rights violations caused by China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation Ltd.

Arent Fox LLP last week filed RICO and Alien Tort Claims Act charges in a California federal court against China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation Ltd., also known as Sinopec. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Tiangang Sun, a self-made Chinese billionaire who claims to have suffered human rights violations, including malicious prosecution, false arrest, detention and torture at the hands of the Chinese government. The referring case number is CV13-05355.

Sun, now a California resident, filed his case in the United States District Court for the Central District of California, as he claims he was unable to get a fair trial in China.

According to the filing, when Sun demanded financial redress for the economic harm caused by Sinopec's illegal actions, officials at the company threatened him, while demanding that he cease all efforts to hold Sinopec responsible for its conduct or risk his personal safety. After repeatedly trying to resolve the dispute amicably, Sun was told that if he continued to demand accountability, Sinopec would arrange to have him imprisoned. Sun allegedly responded to these threats by filing two lawsuits, one in Hong Kong and the other in Beijing, ultimately resulting in his detention in allegedly inhumane conditions for over five years.

The lawsuit states that after serving more than five years in a Chinese prison and 16 months under house arrest, Sun was told that he would be detained again with family members if he brought any legal action against Sinopec and those who interrogated him. In November 2012 he fled the country for the United States to seek protection and to make public Sinopec's actions, including the false and misleading financial statements it has made to the public about its oil operations.

Sinopec's official media channels have not responded yet to this lawsuit.

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