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Naomi – the blood diamonds in Ireland aren't "dirty-looking pebbles"
national | rights, freedoms and repression | opinion/analysis Tuesday August 10, 2010 22:51 by Sean Clinton
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Both the print and broadcast media have given a lot of coverage to the saga of Naomi Campbell’s encounter with blood diamonds, allegedly given to her by the former Liberian ruler and accused war criminal Charles Taylor. The controversy surrounds what Campbell described as a few “dirty looking pebbles” she received in the middle of the night while attending a dinner party hosted by former South African President, Nelson Mandela.
The diamond industry has tried to convince the world that the trade in blood diamonds was largely eliminated following the introduction of the Kimberley Process system of self-regulation in 2003. However, as evidenced by the recent failure of KP members to ban diamond exports from Zimbabwe where Global Witness has documented gross human rights abuses, the KP is unable and unwilling to prevent vast quantities of diamonds that fund human rights abuses from entering the market. Vested interests ensure that the KP definition of a blood diamond is tightly ring-fenced and only applies to “rough diamonds used by rebels” thereby allowing their blood diamonds to slip under its radar and be sold to unsuspecting consumers as KP-compliant and “conflict free” diamonds.