Shell’s Day in Court

I’ve just been to a very nice little shindig with refreshments at the offices of Amnesty International in London.

We were treated to speeches and wine and Nigerian poetry and rap. And there was dancing.

What was it all for then ? And what does it have to do with Climate Change ?

Royal Dutch Shell, the oil and gas company, is to be taken to court in the United States on counts of Human Rights violations in the Niger Delta.

Shell flares natural gas in the country which amounts to roughly a third of annual European natural gas consumption, energy that could instead be sold for the benefit of the Nigerian people; energy that could replace the use of dirty coal.

The Niger Delta waterways, soil and air are highly polluted as a result of the oil industry, degrading the lives and livelihoods of the people there.

For more information, stay tuned to :-

http://wiwavshell.org

Here’s information from the website :-

“What’s the status of the case against Shell? : Beginning in 1996, the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), EarthRights International (ERI), Paul Hoffman of Schonbrun, DeSimone, Seplow, Harris & Hoffman and other human rights attorneys have brought a series of cases to hold Shell accountable for human rights violations in Nigeria, including summary execution, crimes against humanity, torture, inhuman treatment and arbitrary arrest and detention. The lawsuits are brought against Royal Dutch Shell and Brian Anderson, the head of its Nigerian operation…The plaintiffs eagerly await their day in court to hold the defendants accountable for their injuries and the deaths of their loved ones.”

And this is from today’s Press Release :-

“Human rights case puts Shell on trial for Saro-Wiwa murder : On May 26th 2009, oil multinational Shell will stand trial in a Federal District Court in New York for complicity in human rights abuses in Nigeria, including the summary execution of writer and activist Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight of his Ogoni colleagues on November 10th 1995. The other charges against Shell include complicity in crimes against humanity, torture, arbitrary arrest and detainment…ERI will join international artists and activists in London on 6th April, 6.30pm at Amnesty International UK to answer questions about the case, including why the Anglo-Dutch oil giant is standing trial in the U.S., as opposed to the UK. This event is hosted by PLATFORM’s remember saro-wiwa project in collaboration with AFROGROOV. Leading performance poet Zena Edwards, Nigerian rap artist Breis and percussionist Babacar Dieng will close the event. Tonight, a global campaign will be launched by a coalition of NGOs including PLATFORM, Oil Change International, Friends of the Earth U.S. and Greenpeace UK. The campaign will coincide with the Wiwa vs Shell trial, and will hold Shell accountable for its ongoing gas flaring in Nigeria, which burns off an estimated $2.5 billion of gas annually and emits more carbon dioxide than the whole of sub-Saharan Africa combined.”

Links :-

http://www.earthrights.org

http://www.ccrjustice.org

http://www.WiwavShell.org

http://www.remembersarowiwa.com

There’s also a Guardian article :-

http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2009/apr/05/shell-saro-wiwa-execution-charges

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