Oil company charged with human right abuses in Nigeria

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According to documents released by Earth Rights International, Royal Shell Petroleum has been indicted with actions of oppression against non-violent resistance to its environmental damage and human rights abuses in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria.

The Oil giants will go on trial in the United States on February 9, 2009 for their alleged involvement in human rights abuses.

On November 10, 1995, Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight other members of the Movement of the Emancipation of the Ogoni People (MOSOP) and a woman protesting the bulldozing of her farm by Shell in preparation for a pipeline project was shot and killed.

There was a worldwide uproar. Royal Shell Petroleum was accused of collaborating with the military regime to silence environmental activists in the oil-producing region. There was anger and resentment from the people against the oil company and the government. Those hanged were Saro-Wiwa, Saturday Dobee, Nordu Eawo, Daniel Gbooko, Paul Levera, Felix Nuate, Baribor Bera, Barinem Kiobel, and John Kpuine

The ‘Ogoni Nine’ as they were known, were hanged by the government of late military head of state Gen. Sani Abacha after they were found guilty of murder by the military tribunal headed by Justice Ibrahim Auta.

Earth Rights International and Centre for Constitutional Rights, have however given new hope for justice to the Ogoni people in the case entitled Wiwa v. Royal Dutch Shell and Wiwa v Anderson concerns. After several years of proceedings, Judge Kimba Wood ruled that the trial would he held next year.

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