April 26

Press Release: Lawyers for Democratic Republic of the Congo write to Tim Cook Demanding Answers on Fears Supply Chain Tainted by Blood Minerals

On April 22, 2024, a group of international lawyers engaged on behalf of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), notified Apple CEO Tim Cook of a series of questions based on fears that Apple’s supply chain is tainted by blood minerals pillaged from the country. The group of lawyers, led by Robert Amsterdam of Amsterdam & Partners LLP in Washington DC and William Bourdon of Bourdon & Associés in Paris, also wrote to Apple subsidiaries in France, demanding answers from the tech giant within three weeks.

Amsterdam & Partners LLP also released a report today, entitled “Blood Minerals – The Laundering of DRC’s 3T Minerals by Rwanda and Private Entities”. The report’s cover is emblazoned with a statement popularized by Congolese soccer players in recent silent protests: “Everyone sees the massacres in eastern Congo. But everyone is silent.”

Robert Amsterdam, founding partner of Amsterdam & Partners LLP, stated that “year after year, Apple has sold technology made with minerals sourced from a region whose population is being devastated by grave violations of human rights”. Amsterdam further stated: “Although Apple has affirmed that it verifies the origins of minerals it uses to manufacture its products, those claims do not appear to be based on concrete, verifiable evidence. The world’s eyes are wide shut: Rwanda’s production of key 3T minerals is near zero, and yet big tech companies say their minerals are sourced in Rwanda.”

Amsterdam & Partners LLP is appointed to engage in litigation and negotiation internationally on behalf of the DRC in relation to individuals and companies involved in the chain of extraction, supply and commercialization of natural resources and minerals pillaged from the DRC. The scale and duration of these shameful activities have caused unfathomable harm and suffering in the civilian population in mining areas. Furthermore, these activities have fueled a cycle of violence and conflict by financing militias and terrorist groups, and have contributed to forced child labor and environmental devastation.

International observers have documented numerous schemes that underpin and enable an extensive money laundering enterprise through the illegal trade in conflict minerals sourced from Congolese territory. These observers have demonstrated the dependent nature of relationships between perpetrators of this looting and some of the biggest producers of consumer electronics, such as mobile telephones and computers, and companies in the automotive, aviation and renewable energy sectors.

In September 2023, His Excellency Mr. Félix Antoine Tshisekedi Tshilombo, President of the Democratic Republic of Congo, met in Kinshasa with lawyers from Amsterdam & Partners LLP, which has been retained by the Government of the DRC in order to conduct investigations, pursuant to Congolese and international law, into the supply chain of 3T minerals (tin, tungsten, and tantalum) sourced from Congolese territory and illegally exported.

Amsterdam & Partners LLP is an international law firm with offices in London and Washington DC. More information about the firm is available at

Photo courtesy of Fairphone.

Source: Amsterdam & Partners LLC (link opens in a new window)

human rights, mining, supply chains