Royal Dutch Shell to go to Trial for Complicity in Torture and Murder of Nigerian Protesters
Yesterday, Judge Kimba Wood of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York set a trial date of February 9, 2009 for a human rights and racketeering case against the Royal Dutch Shell company (Shell) and the head of its Nigerian operation, Brian Anderson. The case was first filed in 1996. The judge rejected Shell’s attempt to file additional legal motions to postpone a trial date...Wiwa v. Royal Dutch Petroleum and Wiwa v. Anderson are two lawsuits filed by the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) and co-counsel from EarthRights International on behalf of relatives of murdered activists who were fighting for human rights and environmental justice in Nigeria...The defendants are charged with complicity in human rights abuses against the Ogoni people in Nigeria, including summary execution, crimes against humanity, torture, inhumane treatment, arbitrary arrest, wrongful death, assault and battery, and infliction of emotional distress. The cases were brought under the Alien Tort Statute (ATS) and the Torture Victim Protection Act (TVPA).