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Posts under ‘Human Rights’

Esher Kiobel v Shell article published in Dutch FT

The Nigerian Esther Kiobel will drag Shell before the Netherlands courts in a civil lawsuit. She holds the oil company responsible for complicity in the death of her husband Barinem Kiobel in 1995. Kiobel has returned to the US courts years after a legal action against Shell. With a view to a trial in the Netherlands Kiobel requested access to documents in the American action that were introduced by Shell. Kiobel claims these documents can prove that Shell colluded with the Nigerian regime to commit human rights violations. A US judge has approved in late December a request to use the documents in a Dutch court. The Dutch lawyer Channa Samkalden representing Kiobel in the Netherlands, says that the aim is to start the case in the Netherlands’ in the first months of this year.  “In the case going to Shell’s liability will be due to the role of the company at the events that led to the death of Kiobels husband,” says Samkalden.

Human Rights Violations

Barinem Kiobel along with environmental activist Ken Saro-Wiwa and seven others who were protesting against oil exploration in the Niger Delta, were executed by the Nigerian military. Because Shell according to Kiobel supported and provided funding to the army in the fight against groups protesting against oil companies in the Niger Delta, the company was complicit in his death.

In 2009, Shell settled a US case for more than $ 15 million with some relatives of the executed Nigerians, who were known as the Ogoni nine, but the case of Kiobel did not lead to a settlement. The US Supreme Court, however, ruled in 2013 that it had no jurisdiction to rule on her claims.

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Resurrection of Kiobel v Royal Dutch Shell litigation

32 page U.S. Federal Court Order dated 20 December 2016 

U.S. Related FederalCourt Order dated 6 January 2017

Shell is being buried up to its corporate neck in a toxic swamp of current or pending litigation arising from its activities in Nigeria.

In 2013 Shell thought it had killed Nigeria related long-standing litigation in the U.S. courts when the U.S. Supreme Court decided that the Alien Tort Claims Act does not apply extraterritorially

Esther Kiobel was the bitterly disappointed lead plaintiff seeking justice in the USA on human rights grounds against a company she considers to be evil. She holds Shell responsible for the murder of her late husband, Ogoni leader Dr Barinem Kiobel.

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Shell’s complicity in human rights abuses in the Niger Delta


By John Donovan

As we approach the start of 2017, Shell’s conduct in Nigeria is coming under intense scrutiny by prosecution authorities and is also the subject of civil litigation, both current and pending.

The charges include corruption, environmental contamination, and gross human rights abuses, including cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment. 

Shell senior management cannot say that it was not warned. The following is an extract from a letter sent in February 2012 to Shell executives in London, Nigeria and Den Haag.

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A devastating blow for Shell in U.S. Federal Court

By John Donovan

Earlier this week, on Tuesday, December 20, 2016, a U.S. website -Law360 – which reports American court proceedings, published an article about a decision made that same day by Federal U.S. District Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein.

Lawyers acting on behalf of Esther Kiobel had filed a petition seeking documents used in her case against Shell brought in the United States, which was ultimately thwarted by a US Supreme Court decision on extraterritoriality grounds in 2013.

The case is now being brought in the Dutch courts.

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UK police spied on us, protesters tell inquiry

Shell to Sea, an environmental protest group, claims it was infiltrated by a British officer between 2004 and 2006: MARK STEDMAN/PHOTOCALL IRELAND

By:  Ellen Coyne – The Times

A Mayo protest group that claims it was spied on by a British police officer has asked to be included in a UK inquiry into undercover practices.

Shell to Sea, an environmental activist group that protested against the Corrib gas pipeline, believes it was infiltrated by Mark Kennedy when he was in the Republic.

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Fitzgerald should seek answers on undercover British police in Ireland

By:  Shell to Sea

Open Letter to the Irish Minister of Justice, Francis Fitzgerald

Shell to Sea are calling for the Minister of Justice, Francis Fitzgerald to seek that the inquiry into the behaviour of undercover British police (entitled the Pitchford Inquiry) be extended to include the activities of undercover police in Ireland.

The Pitchford Inquiry is so far only investigating undercover policing activities in England and Wales, however the German Government, the Scottish Government and Northern Ireland’s Justice Minister, Claire Sugden have all called for the remit of the inquiry to be widen to include the activities of the undercover British police in their jurisdictions.

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The Nigerian King and a very brazen bid to squeeze millions out of Shell over pollution

By Rachel Millard For The Daily Mail7 December 2016 

Residents of the communities in south-east Nigeria remember clearly the day oil giant Shell first arrived in the 1950s.

Children could hear the rumble of the trucks from a distance, so they’d wave at the drivers as they passed.

It still happened when King Emere Godwin Bebe Okpabi, community leader of the Ogale community in Ogoniland, was growing up in the 1960s.

The region, largely marshland and swamps, was poor but the British firm, with its modern technology and skilled engineers, seemed to represent a new era of prosperity. 

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Shell Canada President Michael Crothers says Canada should stick to its values

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Shell Canada President Michael Crothers (above) says “Canada should stick to its values and do something to protect the environment, regardless of what policy tack the incoming U.S. president takes.”

See CBC News article: Canada shouldn’t lose resolve for a carbon tax, says Shell exec (Published 29 November 2016)

This is the most breathtaking hypocrisy on the part of Shell and Mr. Crothers.

Shell is responsible for nightmarish pollution of the Niger Delta in Nigeria. It has already settled related litigation and more is underway:

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Pleased to assist Leigh Day in Suing Shell says John Donovan

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The High Court in London today began hearing the latest case against Royal Dutch Shell brought by the London law firm Leigh Day on behalf of Nigerian claimants.

Thousands of farmers and fishermen located in the Niger River Delta region who have suffered from oil spills and related toxic pollution. 

Leigh Day approached me last year making “an impassioned appeal” for my help, after first contacting me via Greenpeace.

This is not an unusual occurrence. Many parties contemplating or involved in litigation against Shell contact me after becoming aware of my Shell related website activities and a decades-long history of dealing with Shell, including its army of lawyers (over a thousand) and spooks (Shell Global Security and their external spy firm Hakluyt).

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Polluted water in hand, Nigerian king takes Shell to court in London

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By Editor   |   22 November 2016  

King Emere Godwin Bebe Okpabi holds up a plastic bottle containing contaminated water from his community in Nigeria, proof of oil pollution that he blames on Royal Dutch Shell — and on which he hopes a London court will deliver justice.

“My people are drinking this water,” said the tribal king of the Ogale community in the oil-rich Niger Delta.

Okpabi has flown to London for a High Court hearing on Tuesday in which lawyers for more than 40,000 Nigerians are demanding action from Shell to clean up oil spills that have devastated their communities for decades.

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Nigerian farmers, fishermen sue Shell in UK over pollution

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screen-shot-2016-11-08-at-20-51-26By ASSOCIATED PRESS22 November 2016 

LONDON (AP) — Emere Godwin Bebe Okpabi, leader of Nigeria’s Ogale people, unpacked four bottles of water from his homeland and lined them up on a table to show why his subjects are suing Royal Dutch Shell in a London court.

The Nigerian water is contaminated with oil and cancer-causing compounds such as benzene. It’s what his people drink every day.

Britain’s High Court will begin hearing lawsuits on Tuesday filed by the Ogale and Bille people alleging that decades of oil spills have fouled the water and destroyed the lives of thousands of fishermen and farmers in the Niger River Delta, where a Shell subsidiary has operated since the 1950s. They brought their fight to Shell’s home base because they say the Nigerian courts are too corrupt.

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Villagers take Shell to High Court over Niger oil spills

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The cases are being brought by Leigh Day, which was previously successful in agreeing a £55 million compensation package with Shell to another Nigerian community: GEORGE ESIRI/REUTERS

Neil Johnston: November 21, 2016

A legal battle between Shell and two Nigerian communities who claim that the company caused repeated oil spills will reach the High Court this week.

Tomorrow a four-day hearing will begin to decide whether British courts can hear the legal claims on behalf of 40,000 Nigerians against the oil giant and a subsidiary which operated in the Niger Delta.

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