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16 Mai 2022

Tess Lowery, Global Citizen

Global Citizens launch quiz on SLAPPs filed by companies to silence environmental & human rights activists

"What You Should Know About How Companies Gag Environmental & Human Rights Voices", 9 May 2022

An environmental disaster of epic proportions in the Amazon Rainforest. One of the biggest oil companies in the world (Chevron) denies it had anything to do with it. Thousands of Indigenous people suffer cancerous growths, and babies are lost in pregnancy or born with deformities because of the contamination of their soil and water with toxic chemicals. A brave human rights lawyer fighting in their corner for 25 years. A multi-billion-dollar landmark court judgment... And it was. Until that multinational oil giant hired private investigators to track the lawyer’s movements, started a public smear campaign against him, and gathered literally hundreds of lawyers to obliterate him. He ended up under house arrest for over two years and has only just been freed. This was the fate of Steven Donziger, the man who stood up to big oil, and we call that a SLAPP...

SLAPP stands for Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation and they’re what companies that are poor on ethics — but rich in cash — use to try to silence their critics... a SLAPP is a lawsuit used by big private sector polluters and human rights’ abusers to attempt to squash those who speak out in opposition. They are typically filed against community leaders, social activists, journalists, Indigenous leaders, and environmental defenders...

4 Key Stats to Know About SLAPPs

  • 2 in 5 people live in a country with repressed civic freedoms;
  • The highest number of SLAPPs take place in Latin America;
  • Nearly three-quarters of cases were brought in countries in the Global South;
  • Most individuals and groups facing SLAPPs raised concerns about four sectors: mining, agriculture and livestock, logging and lumber, and palm oil.


Explore our database of attacks on HRDs and SLAPPs