Thursday, May 28, 2009

Royal Dutch Shell on Trial for Crimes Against Humanity

Today is Wednesday, 27 May 2009.

Beginning in the 1950s, oil has been pumped from the Niger Delta region of Nigeria, causing widespread environmental destruction. Most of the revenues are siphoned off by the central government, much lost to corruption, and only a pittance benefits the people of the Delta, who have been and are being subjected to harrowing human rights abuses. Deeply complicit in these crimes are foreign oil companies, particularly Royal Dutch Shell.

One of the champions of the rights and welfare of the people of the Delta was Kenule "Ken" Beeson Saro-Wiwa (born 10 October 1941), a novelist, television producer, environmental activist, and President of the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP). After a show trial, Saro-Wiwa was assassinated on 10 November 1995 by the Nigerian military dictatorship headed by Gen. Sani Abacha.

A lawsuit against Shell for its crimes is scheduled to go to trial today in United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.

For more on Ken Saro-Wiwa:

For more on the trial of Royal Dutch Shell:


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