Landmark Trial Against Shell

In the early 1990’s, following decades of Shell’s environmental devastation in the Niger Delta in Nigeria, the Ogoni people of the region organized a non-violent movement against the oil company. Shell’s armed, financed, and otherwise colluded with the Nigerian military regime to repress the non-violent movement – leading to the torture and shootings of Ogoni people as well as massive raids and the destruction of Ogoni villages.

On May 26, 2009, the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), co-counsel EarthRights International (ERI) and other human rights attorneys will bring oil giant Shell to federal court in New York for the start of a landmark trial for corporate accountability. CCR is pleased to make two exciting announcements as we draw nearer to the trial: we are launching a short film developed by CCR and ERI titled The Case Against Shell, and a new website, www.WiwavShell.org

In the early 1990’s, following decades of Shell’s environmental devastation in the Niger Delta in Nigeria, the Ogoni people of the region organized a non-violent movement against the oil company.

Shell’s response? They armed, financed, and otherwise colluded with the Nigerian military regime to repress the non-violent movement – leading to the torture and shootings of Ogoni people as well as massive raids and the destruction of Ogoni villages. In one incident, Shell was building an oil pipeline and requested support from the Nigerian military. The pipeline destroyed Karalolo Kogbara’s farm and, as she was crying over her lost crops, the soldiers shot her. In a separate incident, Uebari N-nah was shot and killed by soldiers near a Shell flow station; the soldiers were requested by and later compensated by Shell. Furthermore, Shell helped develop a strategy that resulted in the 1995 executions of nine of the movement’s leaders, including internationally acclaimed writer and activist Ken Saro-Wiwa.

Shell must be held accountable. As Ken Saro-Wiwa’s son, Ken Saro-Wiwa Jr. has said about the upcoming trial against Shell, “We need to have people account for their role in the executions and the displacement of the Ogoni people, many of whom feel traumatized. It will be a relief. It will enable people to face the future. That’s the most important thing. Let’s account for the past, so we can move forward.”

Sincerely,

Vince Warren
Executive Director, CCR

P.S. If you are in New York City, we are looking for volunteers to help throughout the trial. Come hear about this case at two upcoming events in Manhattan and plan to attend the trial.

If you are outside of New York City, please see our events page for events near you or organize an event.

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