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20 years after Ken Saro-Wiwa execution, oil pollution still blights Niger Delta

    November 10, 2015

    •    20 years on from his execution, Ken Saro-Wiwa’s struggle continues

    •    Thousands still blighted by oil pollution

    •    Shell is yet to clean up the Niger Delta

    As hundreds of people remember the killing of environmental activists Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight other Ogoni activists executed 20 years ago, Amnesty International urged oil giant Royal Dutch Shell and Nigerian authorities to clean up the oil pollution in the Niger Delta.

    “It is heartbreakingly tragic to see how 20 years after the execution of Ken Saro-Wiwa, who campaigned bitterly for the clean-up of the oil pollution in the Niger Delta, we see very little has changed: the oil spills have not stopped, and Shell has still not cleaned up this huge environmental degradation,” said Amnesty International Nigeria Director M K Ibrahim.

    In the 20 years since Saro-Wiwa was executed, thousands of villagers in the Niger Delta have still not been able to drink clean water, nor farm on their land, nor fish in their waters. This oil pollution is wrecking lives. The time for a proper clean-up is overdue.  We urge both Shell and the other oil companies and the Nigerian authorities to honour Saro-Wiwa’s legacy and clean up the Niger Delta immediately.”

    On 3 November, Amnesty International launched its Clean it Up campaign with a report exposing Shell’s false claims about its oil spill clean-up. The report revealed extensive oil pollution at four sites the company claims to have already cleaned up.

    In 1995, Amnesty International called Ken Saro-Wiwa’s trial “grossly unfair and politically motivated”, while the organization’s supporters demonstrated for Ken Saro-Wiwa outside Nigerian embassies in London and The Hague, and held vigils after his execution. Video footage and still images of demonstrations, as well as footage of oil pollution and testimony form communities, is available on request.

    Background

    Activities around the world:

    Nigeria: People have joined Amnesty's call for a proper clean up of the Niger Delta, as they remember Ken Saro Wiwa

    UK: A vigil outside Shell Headquarters in London is taking place

     

    To find out more, please contact Elizabeth Berton-Hunter 416-363-9933 ext 332 bberton-hunter@amnesty.ca