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Shell must face its day in court over Nigeria abuses

Amnesty International

Esther Kiobel is taking on one of the world’s biggest oil companies – Shell – in a final fight for justice. She has pursued them for more than 20 years, accusing Shell of colluding in her husband’s killing.

Shell’s quest for oil in the Niger Delta, facilitated by the Nigerian government, resulted in decades of pollution, devastating local communities. In response, one of those communities, the Ogoni people, launched a protest movement in the 1990s that government security forces took every opportunity to crush. Shell urged the government to deal with these protests, even after it knew that serious abuses were taking place.

The crackdown culminated in the 1995 sham trial and subsequent hanging of the leaders of the Ogoni movement as well as Esther’s husband, Dr Barinem Kiobel.

The killing of the Ogoni 9, as they later became known, prompted a global outcry. Amnesty International called on our vast network of supporters to deluge the Nigerian authorities first with appeals for the men’s freedom, and later with letters of outrage. Ultimately, however, it is Esther who has endured repeated hardship in her struggle to have her husband’s name cleared.

In a classic David vs Goliath face-off, Esther will finally see her case with Shell go to court this June in the Netherlands. Is her 22-year battle for justice about to end?

Posted Date: 
28 November 2017