The Rapaport Group issued a statement Nov. 22 saying it “strongly opposes” the recent decision of the Kimberley Process to allow immediate diamond exports from the Marange region of Zimbabwe.
“We hereby publicly warn members of the diamond trade that the KP does not certify against human rights abuses and KP certification does not ensure that diamonds are not involved in human rights abuses,” the statement said.
The Rapaport statement noted there “are persistent reports of human rights violations related to Marange diamonds” and that Marange diamonds are subject to U.S. and E.U. sanctions.
“The funds generated from the sale of these diamonds are not properly accounted for,” the statement said. “It is likely that they will be used to fund human rights violations in Zimbabwe.”
“We firmly believe that the mixing of Marange diamonds with non-Marange diamonds and their subsequent sale to U.S., E.U., or U.K. entities without disclosure is unethical and illegal,” the statement continued. “We demand that firms selling Marange diamonds do so with full disclosure, similar to the disclosure requirements for treated diamonds.”
The statement noted that Marange diamonds are currently banned from the RapNet trading network, even if offered with Kimberley Process certification.
“Members found to have knowingly offered Marange diamonds for sale on RapNet will be expelled and their names will be publicly communicated,” said the statement.
Rapaport called on industry organizations to require their members not to trade in Marange stones.