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26/08/05 Rossport 5 Wives appeal to the Norwegian Prime Minister

To Kjell Magne BondevikPrime Minister of Norway
Dear Sir
Our husbands are imprisoned in Ireland following an application to an Irish court for their imprisonment by a gas exploration consortium of which STATOIL is a 36.5 % equity holder. Our husbands’ crime was to protect our families by refusing access to our homesteads for an experimental gas pipeline that has not been approved by any Irish environmental, planning or health and safety agencies. Our husbands know that if the pipeline as currently proposed ruptures we, our children and neighbours, will die.
In the face of legitimate fears and non-violent orderly protests, STATOIL along with its partners applied and secured their indefinite imprisonment. Our husbands have now been held in Cloverhill prison in Dublin for the past 59 days.
We live in a remote coastal community called Rossport on the northwest coast of Ireland. We have been marginalized and abused by STATOIL with the aid of SHELL and the Irish government because our community is to be used as the landing point and refinery for a large gas field at sea.
STATOIL is now party to tactics which were used in 1995 by their partner SHELL against the Ogoni people in Nigeria that resulted in the imprisonment and later execution of 9 protesters including the poet Ken Swa Wiwa.
As majority shareholders in STATOIL, we demand that you instruct the CEO and board of STATOIL to cease participation in an unsafe pipeline that does not have the consent of the people of the coastal community of Rossport. We also demand that STATOIL release our husbands from prison so that real and meaningful dialogue can begin. Court actions and imprisonment will not solve this crisis.
Holding Irish citizens in indefinite imprisonment does little for the reputation of Norway. We trust that the Norwegian government will now act honourably and show leadership in this matter and ensure that STATOIL’s shameful participation and abuse of our families and community is ended immediately.
Maureen McGrathCaitlin Ni SheighinMary CorduffMaureen McGrathAggie Philbin
(wives of the Rossport Five),
Co. Mayo

Posted Date: 
21 August 2006 - 1:08am