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Nigeria: 15th anniversary of Ken Saro-Wiwa's execution - Amnesty Intl. says "abuses against which Ken Saro Wiwa fought continue”

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10 November 2010

Ken Saro-Wiwa

Author: Shell

On October 31, 1995, Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight other Ogonis were sentenced to death for inciting the murder of the four Ogoni leaders. They were executed on November 10, 1995. Despite Ken Saro-Wiwa's criticisms of the company before his arrest, SPDC publicly said that he had a right to freely hold and air his views. During the trial, Shell stated that the accused had a right to a fair legal process. After the trial verdict was announced, the then Chairman of Shell’s Committee of Managing Directors, Cor Herkstroter, sent a personal letter appealing to the Head of State to show clemency on humanitarian grounds to Ken Saro-Wiwa and his co-defendants. To our deep regret that appeal...went unheard. We were shocked and saddened by the news that the executions had been carried out.

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9 November 2010

NGOs and BBC targeted by Shell PR machine in wake of Saro-Wiwa death

Author: Eveline Lubbers & Andy Rowell, Guardian (UK)

Secret internal company documents from…Shell show that in the immediate aftermath of the execution of...Ken Saro-Wiwa it adopted a PR strategy of cosying up to key BBC editors and singling out NGOs that it hoped to "sway"…Shell planned to work with some of its critics but isolate others...Dividing NGOs into friends and foes, Shell emphasised the need to "work with [and] sway 'middle of the road' activists"...[C]ompany documents identified which media outlets would be targeted... Shell planned to produce a video…[including the topic of] "oil spills generally, focusing on sabotage."…but in another document,…Shell Nigeria…acknowledged internally that "the majority of incidents arise from operational failures"...Shell discussed whether it should stay in the country…One scenario was called "milking the cow"…A spokesperson said that the company's environmental record had improved…[Shell] declined to comment on its PR strategy in 1995...[also refers to Body Shop, Daily Telegraph, Financial Times, The Independent, Times (part of News Corporation)]

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1 November 2010

[PDF] Nigeria: 10 November 2010 - 15th anniversary of the execution of Ken Saro Wiwa and the Ogoni leaders

Author: Amnesty International

Writer and human rights campaigner Ken Saro-Wiwa was executed, along with eight other members of the Ogoni people, by the Nigerian State in 1995. They were convicted and sentenced to death following a politically motivated prosecution and unfair trial. The executions alerted the world to the devastating impact of the oil industry in the Niger Delta, including how the environmental damage caused by the oil industry was damaging the health and livelihoods of the Ogoni people. 15 years after his death, the same environmental and human rights abuses against which Ken Saro Wiwa fought continue…[refers to Shell]

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