Nevsun Resources (TSX:NSU,NYSEMKT:NSU) got the market's attention on Thursday when its stock jumped on rumors of a billion-dollar acquisition. However, it made headlines again on Friday for all the wrong reasons. Former workers at Nevsun's Bisha mine in Eritrea filed a civil claim in British Columbia's Supreme Court on Thursday alleging that the company facilitated forced labor, "[a] form of slavery," as well as crimes against humanity and other human rights abuses at the mine. The plaintiffs, Gize Yebeyo Araya, Kesete Tekle Fshazion and Mihretab Yermane Tekle, are refugees who escaped from Eritrea, according to the statement of civil claim. Cruel conditions According to a 2014 World Report on Eritrea from Human Rights Watch, the country is one of the most closed in the world, and arbitrary detentions and severe restrictions on freedom of expression are the norm. Over 305,000 people have fled the country within the past 10 years, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees states, and according to the 2014 World Press Freedom Index put out by Reporters Without Borders, Eritrea beat out 179 countries, including North Korea, to come in last place in terms of press freedom. As is required in the country, Nevsun has partnered with the Eritrean government on Bisha — it owns a 60-percent stake in the mine, while Eritrean National Mining owns the remaining 40 percent. The statement of civil claim filed Thursday states that Nevsun engaged the Segen and Mereb construction companies, as well as the Eritrean military — all of which use conscripted labor from Eritrea's indefinite military service program — for the construction of the mine. The three former mine workers were "subjected to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment as well as harsh working conditions including long hours, malnutrition and forced confinement for little pay." Conditions included working six days a week, sometimes in extreme heat, while being housed in confined camps when not at work.