UK Continues to Falsely Imprison African Expat for "WASTECRIME"

15 Reasons to Free Joseph Benson of BJ Electronics, falsely convicted of "e-waste" crime.


I will repost this soon with hot links to the trial documents, hopefully by this weekend.

1)  The Guardian, Murdoch's SkyNews, BBC, Economist and Independent (2012) Newspapers all reacted to public statements by Lord Chris Smith's environmental agency that exports of televisions and computers for repair was "against international law".

2)  The international law in question, the Basel Convention, specifically describes this as legal activity and does not ban reuse or repair, only dumping.   (LCS may be referring to a proposed amendment to the Basel Convention which has not been passed or ratified.  Violating a proposed rule is not a crime!)

3)  The allegation made in court against the expat trader to Africa ("Hurricane" Benson) relied on "statistics" about the likelihood of dumping, provided by Greenpeace and the NGO Basel Action Network.   Both of these organizations have been quoted by LCS and by the press, stating that "up to 80%" of what the African traders ship to Africa is destined for primitive recycling.  NOW THEY DENY SAYING IT!  That's right - nothing was found "dumped", but based on claims, Benson's prosecutor said it was "LIKELY" dumped, and he was put in prison based on "likelihood", given BAN's statistics.

4)  The photos these organizations (press and NGOs) use to make the case are taken at the city dumps of huge cities (Lagos, Accra).  According to the World Bank, these countries have had millions of televisions in use for decades.  The number of Nigerians with personal computers?  12 Million.  The UK and "Project Eden" depict Africa as if from Disney's "Lion King", while Africans are dealing with their own growing piles of e-Scrap, cell phone towers, and massive traffic jams.

-- Link:  UN Report "Domestic Consumption is the Main Contributor to African "E-Waste" --

5)  Photographs of junk Toyotas in London or Lagos do not prove Japanese guilty of wastecrime, and photos of junk TVs at Ghana landfills do not prove the Trader violated any laws or shipped any junk.  Africa has been "rapidly developing" for decades.

6) During the widespread reporting that exports of used electronics to Africa were mostly junk, the Basel Secretariat and UNEP participated in a two year scientific analysis to research containerloads shipped from London, including many by the accused Nigerian expatriot in prison.   Examination of hundreds of Sea Containers found 91% of product was useful - better than brand new product sold in Africa!  MIT, Memorial University, Arizona State, USITC, and other studies all confirm the "ewaste" import statistic (80%) was a hoax.

7)  Evidence presented in the UK court trial included no such test for repairability, or even tested the equipment in the containers, relying on "widespread knowledge" disseminated by Basel Action Network (repeated by Lord Chris Smith).  (LINKS COMING THIS WEEKEND)

8)  "Likely"?  Or NOT?   Basel Action Network has not just withdrawn the 80% dumping statistic, they actually disavowed it.

9)  "Hurricane" Benson is in jail, despite no evidence of a crime, a trophy on the wall for #wastecrime enforcement.   Benson's guilty plea was admitted at the end of a long appeal, when the judge had admonished him, and he was offered a commuted sentence (16 months rather than 60) only if he accepted a guilty plea.

10)  The cost of shipping 500 televisions from London to Lagos or Accra is higher than the cost of recycling them in the UK...  The entire "waste export" (for avoided recycling cost) theory was never tested and is mathematically impossible... it can be disproved with a simple review of Benson's receipts and costs of shipping.

11)  Pages and pages of individual brands and models listed in the African traders containers in Benson's court records show relatively new units, hand selected.  Who writes down the model number of a TV before they burn it??

12)  The World Bank statistics on households with TV in use in Africa (e.g. 6.9 million households in Nigeria as of 2006) cannot be explained via new unit sales, and offer proof that past imports were not "mostly waste".  There were not enough "new" TVs imported to explain World Bank's households-with-TV statistic.

13)  The argument that "even working televisions will one day become waste" is true of brand new computers, cell phones, and TVs, and reflects a colonialist regulation.  We do not restrict ourselves from importing new devices made in Asia until we have a recycling system for them in the USA.

14)  Planned obsolescence and non-tariff barriers applied to the secondary market is an old trick. Recent investigations by the US International Trade Commission found absolutely no evidence of the 80% waste export claims, and no evidence that "waste" shipments to Africa were common.

15)  The NGOs which raise money on the photos of children posed with E-Waste do not share a dime of the donation with the children.  Rather, they seek to put the kids parents in jail.

Quantitative studies supporting Benson:  15.   Evidence of Wrongdoing?: 0


Lord Chris Smith is probably not a bad person.  Jim Puckett isn't a bad person.  They are just wickedly late admitting they were WRONG about the "e-waste" hoax, and at this point there is an innocent man in JAIL and all I get from Basel Action Network is a statement about "collateral damage".   E-Stewards have to demand this be fixed, Chris Smith needs to look at the references to his quotes in Benson's sentencing and make some calls to get Benson out of there.

Blacksmith Institute has, in 2015, abandoned it's "ranking" of "top most polluted sites", but only after offering legitimacy to the BAN fake and disavowed statistics about Agbogbloshie.  The year Blacksmith listed Agbogbloshie at the top of their Top Ten List is the year Joe Benson was locked in a United Kingdom prison cell.  #SHAME ON MY ENVIRONMENTALIST TRIBE.

Africans and other "geeks of color" see this as just one of many racist, colonialist, poverty porn, planned obsolescence driven acts by Europeans and do-gooders.  It's a sin to kill a mockingbird.

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