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    June 29, 2018

    Esther says Amnesty activists have given her the strength to carry on fighting for justice

    A year ago today, Esther Kiobel stood on the steps of the Palace of Justice in The Hague. It had taken over twenty years to get there, but she had just filed a landmark case against the oil giant Shell over its role* in the 1995 execution of her husband Dr. Barinem Kiobel. Dr Kiobel, a former government official, was hanged by the Nigerian military government in connection with widespread protests against oil pollution in the Niger Delta.

    “We love him to death,” Esther says of her late husband more than two decades after she last saw him in prison. “His spirit is still crying, looking for justice.”

    In the 1990s, Ogoniland, the oil-rich region of the Niger Delta where the Kiobels are from, was of huge economic importance to both Shell and the Nigerian government. Both parties panicked when protests, under the leadership of the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP), broke out against environmental destruction caused bv Shell’s operations.

    April 16, 2018

    This is part 6 of 6 of the blog series: 25 years working for human rights in the Niger Delta

    Written by Amnesty's Businses and Human Rights volunteer, Ian Heide

    Amnesty International is urging the Governments of Nigeria, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands to launch investigations into the role of Shell Oil regarding the horrific crimes committed in Ogoniland by the Nigerian military during the 1990s.

    To recap: in 1995, nine men from Ogoniland were executed. The executions of the Ogoni Nine, after an unfair trial, were the culmination of a much broader crackdown on the Ogoni people by the Nigerian military government.

    Amnesty`s latest report examines he widespread human rights violations including unlawful killings, torture, rape and the destruction of homes and property, carried out by the military in the years leading up to the executions in 1995.

    April 10, 2018

    This is part 5 of 6 of the blog series: 25 years working for human rights in the Niger Delta

    Written by Amnesty's Businses and Human Rights volunteer, Ian Heide

    Confronting Shell Oil … Again!

    Three years after the ground-breaking report by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) on oil pollution in Ogoniland, the people of Ogoniland continued to suffer the effects of fifty years of an oil industry that has polluted their land, air and water. The oil company Shell and the Nigerian Government both failed to implement recommendations made in the UNEP report and put an end to the abuse of the communities’ rights to food, water and a life free of pollution.

    The 2011 UNEP Report made 27 recommendations, including the establishment of a $1 billion fund for the clean-up and compensation. In August 2014, Amnesty issued a report titled “No Progress”, with Amnesty's assessment that NONE of the recommendations had been completed. The Government of Nigeria and Shell had taken almost no meaningful action to implement any of the recommendations.

    April 04, 2018

    This is part 4 of 6 of the blog series: 25 years working for human rights in the Niger Delta

    Written by Amnesty's Businses and Human Rights volunteer, Ian Heide

    United Nations Confirms Massive Pollution

    In 2011-2012, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) confirmed the massive scale of pollution in its landmark report based on a scientific assessment of one region, Ogoniland. The report particularly highlighted how pollution has created a public health emergency in the Niger Delta as a result of high levels of contamination of people’s sources of water.

    According to UNEP, oil seeped below the surface layers of soil and contaminated the groundwater in Ogoniland. The report also referred to increased concentrations of petroleum hydrocarbons in the air and drinking water, which could lead to long-term health issues.

    March 29, 2018

    This is part 3 of 6 of the blog series: 25 years working for human rights in the Niger Delta

    Written by Amnesty's Businses and Human Rights volunteer, Ian Heide

    Throughout the years, Amnesty International has continued to put pressure on Shell Oil for the company's role in the Niger Delta. Amnesty's 2009 report "Petroleum, Pollution and Poverty in the Niger Delta" focused on some of the root causes of the complex conflict situation in the Niger Delta, including:

    the impact of half a century of pollution and environmental damage on the people of the delta; the lack of effective accountability and redress for harm to the environment and human rights; and a lack of transparency and information in relation to the impacts of the oil industry.

    These factors are key drivers of conflict and poverty in the Niger Delta.

    Listen to our Niger Delta "True Tragedy" podcast

    March 27, 2018
    Photo of vigil for Ken Saro Wiwa (2005)

    This is part 2 of 6 of the blog series: 25 years working for human rights in the Niger Delta

    Written by Amnesty's Businses and Human Rights volunteer, Ian Heide

    In 2005, ten years after executions that horrified the world, the exploitation of oil in the Niger Delta continued to result in deprivation, injustice and violence. Despite a return to civilian government in 1999, those responsible for human rights violations under military governments were not brought to justice. Security forces were still allowed to kill people and raze communities with impunity. The environmental harm to health and livelihoods that impelled the Ogoni campaign for economic and social rights remained the reality for many inhabitants of the Delta region.

    March 14, 2018

    This is part 1 of 6 of the blog series: 25 years working for human rights in the Niger Delta

    Written by Amnesty's Businses and Human Rights volunteer, Ian Heide

    On November 10, 1995, Amnesty International released this statement: “AI has learned with dismay that Ken Saro-Wiwa and the eight other Ogoni supporters were executed on 10 November 1995.”

    The world was shocked. The trial was widely criticized by human rights organizations and the governments of other states The Commonwealth of Nations, which had pleaded for clemency, suspended Nigeria's membership. The United States, the United Kingdom, and the EU all implemented sanctions—but not on petroleum.

    What was the role of Shell oil in this? And how has the situation evolved since then? This six-part blog series explores the human rights impact of oil pollution in the Niger Delta, the mounting evidence against Shell, the courageous activism of affected communities,  and the on-going fight for justice.

    January 18, 2018

     

    By Ian Heide, Business and Human Rights Coordinator

    Amnesty International is calling on the Governments of Nigeria, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands to launch investigations into the role of Shell Oil regarding the horrific crimes committed in Ogoniland by the Nigerian military during the 1990s. In 1995, nine men from Ogoniland were executed. The executions of the Ogoni Nine, after an unfair trial, were the culmination of a much broader crackdown on the Ogoni people by the Nigerian military government. Amnesty`s latest report focuses on widespread human rights violations including unlawful killings, torture, rape and the destruction of homes and property, carried out by the military in the years leading up to the executions in 1995.

    Amnesty International has reviewed thousands of pages of internal company documents and witness statements in order to reach this conclusion. The evidence shows that Shell repeatedly encouraged the Nigerian military to deal with community protests, even when they knew it would lead to massive human rights violations.

    November 28, 2017

    Oil giant Shell has a case to answer for its role in human rights violations including murder, rape and torture committed by the Nigerian military government in the 1990s.

    The victims were the Ogoni people, whose land has been devastated by pollution from Shell’s operations. When the Ogonis organized in peaceful protest, the Nigerian government unleashed a campaign of appalling violence against them.

    Despite a raft of evidence linking Shell with the government’s actions, no company executive has ever been made to answer for its involvement.

    The fact that Shell has never been held to account for this is an outrage, and one that sends a terrible message: if companies are rich and powerful enough, they can get away with anything.

    So, for the first time, Amnesty International has brought together the available evidence to paint a damning picture of Shell’s role.

    July 03, 2015

    By Moses Akatugba, Nigeria (30 June 2015).

    June 22, 2015

    By Louisa Anderson and Justine Ijeomah

    After 10 years in jail, and over 800,000 messages from activists around the world, Moses’ life has been spared. Here, we speak to Justine Ijeomah, Director of the Human Rights, Social Development and Environmental Foundation (HURSDEF) in Nigeria and long-time ally in the campaign for Moses’ freedom. He describes Moses’ journey from schoolboy to death row inmate, and how the 26-year-old torture survivor reacted when he found out his life had been spared.

    June 04, 2015

    By Christoph Koettl, Founder and editor of Amnesty's Citizen Evidence Lab. Follow Christoph on Twittwr @ckoettl

    With citizen journalism and the availability of new technologies growing exponentially, human rights investigators are able to locate and review evidence of war crimes and crimes against humanity at a speed never before imagined. Amnesty International’s Christoph Koettl explains how it’s done.

    In March 2014 a grainy cell phone video came across my desk that seemed to show a Nigerian soldier murdering an unarmed man in broad daylight. It took me a day and a half to pinpoint the location of this apparent war crime to a specific street corner in Maiduguri, the state capital of Borno and a city of more than 500,000 people.

    Confirming the location of an incident is a crucial step in the authentication process, so finding this fact was highly relevant to reference the footage in a report we published on 31 March 2014, exposing war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by the Nigerian military and Boko Haram.

    February 17, 2015
    Nigerian soldiers arrive in Yola, Nigeria, 20 May 2013. (c) EPA

    As Nigerians prepare to go to the polling stations to elect their President on March 28, we take a look at some of the main human rights issues facing people living in Africa’s most populous, oil-rich country.

    How bad is the human rights situation in Nigeria?

    Pretty shocking. Boko Haram’s bloody onslaught in north-east Nigeria and the military’s heavy-handed response has killed thousands of civilians and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Women, men and children live in constant fear of murder and abduction by Boko Haram and of arbitrary arrest, unlawful detention, torture and even execution at the hands of the military.

    But it is not just the violence in the north-east of the country that is extremely worrying. The problems within Nigeria’s justice system, for example, are deeply entrenched.

    September 18, 2014

    By Jacqueline Hansen, Major Campaigns and Women’s Rights Campaigner

    The disappearance of more than 270 Nigerian schoolgirls in April 2014 led to a worldwide social media campaign to #BringBackOurGirls. Tens of thousands of Amnesty International supporters signed our petition targeted at the Nigerian authorities. The world watched, and waited. Then the social media campaign faded and the issue disappeared from the headlines. Five months later the girls are still missing. And in the intervening months many more girls, boys, women, and men have been kidnapped by Boko Haram fighters.

    June 13, 2014
    By Adotei Akwei. Johanna Lee contributed to this post. Originally published by AIUSA.  

    In mid-April, Islamist armed group Boko Haram abducted 276 schoolgirls aged 15-18 from the village of Chibok in northeast Nigeria. The abductions triggered outrage, protests and a social media campaign criticizing the response of the Nigerian authorities and demanding a major effort to secure the freedom of the girls.

    Yet, almost two months later, little, if any, progress has been made in freeing the kidnapped girls and the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan and his security forces have failed to communicate a plan or even convince the families of the girls that they are doing all that they can to get the girls released.

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