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.