Nigerian widows accuse Shell of murder

Esther Kiobel, widow of Barinem Kiobel, one of the Ogoni 9, Amnesty International photo

Translated from Dutch NOS TV:

Shell charged in the Netherlands with murders in Nigeria

Today, 11:53

Four Nigerian widows accuse Shell in the Netherlands for complicity in the execution of their spouses. They demand apologies and compensation.

The four men were part of the Ogoni 9, nine human rights activists hanged during the military dictatorship in Nigeria for murder after what many consider to be a kangaroo court trial.

One of those executed was the writer Ken Saro-Wiwa. He and others of the Ogoni 9 were opposed to Shell’s oil production in Ogoniland, Nigeria, which, according to them, [and not only them] led to environmental pollution.

Amnesty: enough evidence

Amnesty International supports the widows. According to Amnesty, there is enough evidence for Shell involvement. Thus, Shell, they say, has asked the government for security forces to suppress protests, while Shell knew that this would turn out to be human rights violations. And after the Ogoni 9 were captured, Shell did not talk about their fate.

There are also two people who say that the government wanted to bribe them to accuse the Ogoni 9 as witnesses. A Shell lawyer, they say, was present at the attempted bribery.

Internal documents

Amnesty also said that it had seen internal Shell documents that showed that the company knew that the trial against the Ogoni 9 was unfair. Nevertheless, the company kept its close ties with the Nigerian government. …

It is not clear whether a Dutch court will consider the case. Previously, one of the Nigerian widows tried to have Shell on trial in the United States. However, the US Supreme Court ruled in 2013 that a US court could not judge the case because there were no US Americans involved.

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