Sudan effort targets Fidelity

BOSTON: A recently launched grassroots campaign is exerting pressure on Fidelity Investments to divest itself from investments in war-torn Sudan.

BOSTON: A recently launched grassroots campaign is exerting pressure on Fidelity Investments to divest itself from investments in war-torn Sudan.

The campaign, "Fidelity out of Sudan," (FOS) objects to Fidelity-controlled mutual funds that invest in Chinese oil companies that do business in Sudan. The activists say that revenue from those companies flows to the Sudanese government and funds the ongoing genocide in that country.

Led by a coalition of volunteers who have had experience campaigning against the genocide in the Darfur region of Sudan, the campaign launched officially on January 26. It urges supporters to contact Fidelity and register their objections to its investments, noting that other prominent institutional investors, including many colleges and universities and city and state governments, have already publicly divested themselves from Sudan.

Susan Morgan, a founding member of the FOS team, said the founders of the campaign initially approached Fidelity to try to start a dialogue about their concerns, but their letters were brushed off in a form letter.

"We believe that Americans, once they learn that their hard-earned savings are being used to further a genocide, will want to object to Fidelity and all financial institutions that own shares in these companies," she said.

The FOS campaign has attracted coverage from major outlets, including The Wall Street Journal and CNN, and has enlisted the support of actress Mia Farrow. Morgan called the media attention "very encouraging."

Fidelity did not respond to requests for comment.

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