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28 Nov 2017

Hannah Summers, The Guardian (UK)

Nigeria: Amnesty publishes evidence of alleged complicity of Shell in silencing protesters & urges UK, Nigeria & Netherlands to consider criminal investigation; Shell denies allegations

"Amnesty seeks criminal inquiry into Shell over alleged complicity in murder and torture in Nigeria", 28 Nov 2017

Amnesty International is calling for a criminal investigation into...Shell regarding allegations it was complicit in human rights abuses carried out by the Nigerian military. A review of thousands of internal company documents and witness statements published on Tuesday points to the Anglo-Dutch organisation’s alleged involvement in the brutal campaign to silence protesters in...Ogoniland region in the 1990s. Amnesty is urging the UK, Nigeria and the Netherlands to consider a criminal case against Shell in light of evidence it claims amounts to “complicity in murder, rape and torture” – allegations Shell strongly denies. [Documents include] witness statements...that allege Shell managed a unit of undercover police officers, trained by the Nigerian state security service, to carry out surveillance in Ogoniland after the oil company...announced...withdrawal... Shell stopped operations in Ogoniland in early 1993...but...subsequently sought ways to re-enter...and end the protests...[by] the group... under the leadership of ... Ken Saro-Wiwa... In 1993 its mounting campaign was successful in forcing the oil company to quit the region. But mass protests ensued after Shell pushed ahead with plans to lay a new pipeline... On 30 April...troops guarding Shell’s contractors opened fire on protesters injuring 11 people...In the brutal backlash that followed by Nigeria’s military police, about 1,000 people were killed and 30,000 made homeless... Amnesty said: “The evidence shows Shell repeatedly encouraged the Nigerian military to deal with community protests, even when it knew the horrors this would lead to – unlawful killings, rape, torture and the burning of villages...we now believe there are grounds for a criminal investigation...