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October 3rd, 2011:

New report exposes Shell complicity in Nigerian human rights abuses

Graphics from the Guardian article: Unloveable Shell, the Goddess of Oil

By John Donovan

Monday, 3 October 2011

Shell fueled human rights abuses in Nigeria by paying huge contracts to armed militants, according to a new report published today by Platform and a coalition of NGOs and featured in The Guardian.

This evening we received an email of thanks from Ben Amunwa of platformlondon.org. Ben is the author of the 41 page report called Counting the Cost, which uncovers how Shell’s routine payments to armed militants exacerbated conflicts, in one case leading to the destruction of Rumuekpe town where it is estimated that at least 60 people were killed.

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Shell fuelled human rights abuses in Nigeria – NGO

Mon Oct 3, 2011 6:39pm BST

* Shell funded clashing armed gangs – watchdog report

* Oil major denies it caused any human rights abuses

* Company is selling off Nigerian oil blocks

By Joe Brock

ABUJA, Oct 3 (Reuters) – An industry watchdog accused Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.L) on Monday of funding armed gangs in Nigeria and said this had fuelled human rights abuses in Africa’s most populous nation.

The company, the biggest operator in the West African nation’s oil industry, denied the allegations.

Platform, a London-based non-government organisation monitoring the oil and gas industry, said in a 75-page report that the Anglo-Dutch major paid government forces who have attacked, tortured and killed Nigerians living in the creeks and swamplands of the Niger Delta.

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Wake up call for Orange pay as you go

By John Donovan

Monday, 3 October 2011

I have had Orange pay monthly and “pay as you go” phones for many years, but not for much longer.

I was awaken at 4.36am this morning by an incoming text message from Orange to my “pay as you go” phone notifying me of improvements to the phone, which would be implemented by turning it off and then back on.

I was of course less than overjoyed at being woken half way through the night, not for an emergency, as one would expect when receiving a call in the early hours, but by an unsolicited  piece of self-serving information by a mobile phone company. The phone lit up and there was an audible warning of an incoming message.

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Shell accused of fuelling violence in Nigeria by paying rival militant gangs

Oil company rejects watchdog’s claims that its local contracts made it complicit in the killing of civilians

Militants of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta travelling between camps. Photograph: Veronique de Viguerie/Getty Images

Shell has fuelled armed conflict in Nigeria by paying hundreds of thousands of dollars to feuding militant groups, according to an investigation by the oil industry watchdog Platform, and a coalition of non-government organisations.

The oil giant is implicated in a decade of human rights abuses in the Niger delta, the study says, claiming that its routine payments exacerbated local violence, in one case leading to the deaths of 60 people and the destruction of an entire town.

Platform’s investigation, which includes testimony from Shell’s own managers, also alleges that government forces hired by Shell perpetrated atrocities against local civilians, including unlawful killings and systematic torture.

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