Nigeria – Royal Dutch Shell Plc .com http://royaldutchshellplc.com News and information on Royal Dutch Shell Plc Sun, 15 Jul 2018 17:02:48 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.7 https://i0.wp.com/royaldutchshellplc.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/cropped-Screen-Shot-2017-03-31-at-15.44.47.jpg?fit=32%2C32 Nigeria – Royal Dutch Shell Plc .com http://royaldutchshellplc.com 32 32 4172002 Oil Spill – Nigerian Communities/Shell Face-Off http://royaldutchshellplc.com/2018/07/12/oil-spill-nigerian-communities-shell-face-off/ http://royaldutchshellplc.com/2018/07/12/oil-spill-nigerian-communities-shell-face-off/#respond Thu, 12 Jul 2018 21:35:28 +0000 http://royaldutchshellplc.com/?p=97502 Oil Spill – Nigerian Communities/Shell Face-Off was first posted on July 12, 2018 at 10:35 pm.
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Port Harcourt — Communities in Bayelsa State impacted by May 17 oil spillage from Shell Petroleum Development Company’s, SPDC, Trans-Ramos Pipeline have vowed to disrupt repairs on the key asset over perceived biased Joint Investigation Visit, JIV. However, Bamidele Odugbean, in a Shell feedback, said it would be hasty and unfair for any party to question the JIV process that was yet to be concluded, adding that the issues with relief materials would be looked into. FULL ARTICLE

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Oil Spill – Nigerian Communities/Shell Face-Off was first posted on July 12, 2018 at 10:35 pm.
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SHELL CONTINUES TO EVADE JUSTICE FOR COMPLICITY IN OGONI 9 MURDERS  http://royaldutchshellplc.com/2018/07/12/shell-continues-to-evade-justice-for-complicity-in-ogoni-9-murder/ http://royaldutchshellplc.com/2018/07/12/shell-continues-to-evade-justice-for-complicity-in-ogoni-9-murder/#respond Thu, 12 Jul 2018 15:43:53 +0000 http://royaldutchshellplc.com/?p=97458 SHELL CONTINUES TO EVADE JUSTICE FOR COMPLICITY IN OGONI 9 MURDERS  was first posted on July 12, 2018 at 4:43 pm.
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Dr. Barinem Kiobel was one of the “Ogoni Nine” executed by a despotic Nigerian regime after a rigged trial. His widow, Esther Kiobel, holds Shell responsible for his murder on trumped-up charges and has been seeking justice for the last 22 years.

By John Donovan

Since 1996, various Kiobel family members have been pursuing litigation in the USA relating to Shell’s conduct in Nigeria. This fact is confirmed from the screenshot of listed court cases filed in the USA and blocked by Shell. Only one related application is still open and it is on the way to being closed as a result of a decision by a U.S. Appeals Court yesterday. The remaining case is described by the three Appeal Court judges as “extraordinary, and possibly unique.”

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Dr. Barinem Kiobel was one of the “Ogoni Nine” executed by a despotic Nigerian regime after a rigged trial. His widow, Esther Kiobel, holds Shell responsible for his murder on trumped-up charges and has been seeking justice for the last 22 years.

After a US Supreme Court decision on jurisdictional grounds that Shell could not be pursued in the US courts for alleged crimes committed in Nigeria, Esther approached me seeking advice.

I recommended that she should sue Shell in its home country and made an introduction to Channa Samkalden of the Dutch human rights law firm Prakken d’Oliveira that subsequently, on behalf of Esther Kiobel and other Ogoni Nine widows, served a Writ on Shell in the Netherlands on 28 June 2017.

The same law firm filed a lawsuit in the USA seeking over a 100,000 documents gathered by Shell’s American lawyers Cravath, Swaine & Moore, as part of the discovery process in the original US proceedings. All stored in a secure warehouse.

A Federal Judge ordered Cravath to hand it all over. Cravath appealed and yesterday the US Appear Court overturned the decision made by the Federal Judge. See links below. The three judges took into account arguments made on behalf of many thousands of U.S. corporate lawyers and businesses, all against the documents being handed over.

It remains to be seen whether Esther Kiobel can and will appeal against the decision.

Meanwhile the decades pass without the Ogoni Nine widows main case ever being heard in court.

Shell and its lawyers – the best money can buy – continue to block litigation and exploit legal loopholes, instead of abiding by Shell’s claimed business principles, including integrity and transparency. These claimed values do not chime with Shell’s horrendous past and recent conduct in Nigeria, including corruption and pollution on an epic scale.

Clearly, big business and the establishment is in the ascendancy, while the human rights of ordinary people such as Esther Kiobel are trampled into the dust, especially under the Trump administration.

Doc 148-1 15 Page Opinion dated 10 July 2018

Doc 151 15 Pages

Doc 154 One Page Judgment

Doc 155 One Page Correction Letter

Disclosure relating to Esther Kiobel and her litigation against Shell launched in June 2017: The lead claimant Esther Kiobel, her lawyer Channa Samkalden of the Dutch human rights law firm Prakken d’Oliveira representing the widows, and the acclaimed human rights organisation Amnesty International, have all acknowledged the involvement of John Donovan in bringing *this case. (*See Writ of Summons in English and Dutch served on Shell 28 June 2017 – copy obtained from US Pacer public electronic court records)

Courtroom News Service

CHRISTINE STUART: 11 July 2018

MANHATTAN (CN) – Delivering another defeat to a human-rights case that fell apart at the Supreme Court, the Second Circuit blocked an order Tuesday that would have forced a U.S. law firm to turn over client records.

Back in the early days of the case, the New York law firm Cravath, Swaine & Moore had represented Royal Dutch Shell against a group of Nigerians who suffered atrocities at the hands of their country’s military and police. Led by Esther Kiobel, the Nigerians sought to hold Shell liable under the Alien Tort Statute, but the Supreme Court eventually found that the United States lacked jurisdiction in the suit.

With lead plaintiff Esther Kiobel now pursuing justice at The Hague, where Shell is based, she subpoenaed the firm Cravath to turn over its old case documents.

A federal judge in New York granted Kiobel’s petition, but the Second Circuit reversed Tuesday, calling it an abuse of discretion to have “American counsel to deliver documents that would not be discoverable abroad.”

Quoting the 1997 case Application of Sarrio S.A., the appeals court said relief for Kiobel here “would jeopardize ‘the policy of promoting open communications between lawyers and their clients.’”

Indeed, the 15-page ruling states, “if foreign clients have reason to fear disclosing all pertinent documents to U.S. counsel, the likely results are bad legal advice to the client, and harm to our system of litigation.”

Writing for a three-person panel, U.S. Circuit Judge Dennis Jacobs warned of the potential fallout that courts could see if Kiobel’s subpoena was granted.

“In order to avoid potential disclosure issues under Section 1782, U.S. law firms with foreign clients may be forced to store documents and servers abroad, which would result in excessive costs to law firms and clients,” Jacobs wrote. “Alternatively, U.S. law firms may have to return documents to foreign clients (or destroy them) as soon as litigation concludes.”

(Parentheses in original.)

Kiobel was represented on appeal by Marco Simons, general counsel for EarthRights International. Simons said they are considering a petition for rehearing, calling the ruling here novel.

“This is the first time the Second Circuit has reversed a District Court’s discretionary decision to allow discovery under this statute,” Simons said in an interview.

Representatives for Cravath meanwhile declined to comment, forwarding a request on to Shell.

“Pursuit of this appeal does not change our firm commitment to support fundamental human rights in line with the legitimate role of business,” Shell said in a statement. “We have always denied, in the strongest possible terms, the allegations made by the plaintiffs in this tragic case. We believe it is right that the court has ruled against discovery of documents that were sent to the US for the purpose of American legal proceedings, in order to pursue a case in another jurisdiction. Suing a US law firm should not be a back door to secure documents from foreign clients, who are outside of US jurisdictional boundaries.”

Many of Kiobel’s former co-plaintiffs settled before the case went to the Supreme Court. Kiobel, whose husband was executed in 1995, claims that residents of Nigeria’s Ogoniland faced persecution for opposing oil exploration of their land.

SOURCE

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Nigeria says Shell signs $3.7B gas project agreement http://royaldutchshellplc.com/2018/07/11/nigeria-says-shell-signs-3-7b-gas-project-agreement/ http://royaldutchshellplc.com/2018/07/11/nigeria-says-shell-signs-3-7b-gas-project-agreement/#respond Wed, 11 Jul 2018 22:02:07 +0000 http://royaldutchshellplc.com/?p=97489 Nigeria says Shell signs $3.7B gas project agreement was first posted on July 11, 2018 at 11:02 pm.
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|By: , SA News Editor

  • Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A, RDS.B) reportedly has signed an agreement with Nigeria’s state-run oil company and two other groups to develop natural gas projects worth $3.7B, as part of the country’s efforts to deal with a looming domestic fuel shortage.
  • The seven projects would add 3.4B cf/day of natural gas to the Nigerian market to avoid a shortage that has been forecast for 2020, with gas produced under the projects used to produce a target amount of 15 GW of electricity by that year.
  • Nigeria is Africa’s top oil producer but has suffered a decline in oil and gas investments – despite the rebound in crude oil prices – due to a lack of government incentives and a delay in the approval of energy industry reform.

SOURCE

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SHELL IN OGONILAND: TORTURE AND ILL-TREATMENT http://royaldutchshellplc.com/2018/07/07/shell-in-ogoniland-torture-and-ill-treatment/ http://royaldutchshellplc.com/2018/07/07/shell-in-ogoniland-torture-and-ill-treatment/#comments Sat, 07 Jul 2018 16:44:51 +0000 http://royaldutchshellplc.com/?p=97412 SHELL IN OGONILAND: TORTURE AND ILL-TREATMENT was first posted on July 7, 2018 at 5:44 pm.
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Two Ogoni fishermen have described how they were arrested by members of the police unit seconded to guard Shell personnel and installations (known as the Supernumerary or SPY police) on 22 June 1994. In a letter faxed to journalists after their release
from prison in October 1998, Kagbara Bassee and Blessing Israel said that the police arrested them at Benson Beach, Akwa Ibon State. They said that the police officers, who were accompanied by Shell staff, beat them with batons, knocking Blessing Israel unconscious.

Extracts from pages 27, 28 & 29 of an Amnesty International document headed: “A CRIMINAL ENTERPRISE? SHELL’S INVOLVEMENT IN HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS IN NIGERIA IN THE 1990s”

In July 1994, the Dutch ambassador told Shell Nigeria’s then chairperson Brian Anderson that the army had killed some 800 Ogonis.

EXTRACT BEGINS

TORTURE AND OTHER ILL-TREATMENT OF DETAINEES

During this time, numerous people – mostly from Ogoniland – were detained and held in military-run camps and subjected to torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment. Many were arbitrarily arrested and detained without charge for varying periods in 1994 and 1995 at either Bori Military Camp, in Port Harcourt, or the military detention centre set up in what used to be the police station in Kpor, in Ogoniland.102

Two environmentalists (Oronto Douglas and Nick Ashton-Jones) who went to visit Ledum Mitee, the MOSOP vice-president, in detention in the Bori Military Camp, on 26 June 1994, have described how they were detained, flogged and threatened with execution, on Paul Okuntimo’s orders.103 Nick Ashton-Jones described his experience:

“I was taken out and told to lie face down on the floor and given about 9 strokes across my lower back and buttocks: painful but not enough to break the skin. The whip was made of a double length of 10mm electrical cable and the man who used it was clearly as afraid of Major (now Lt. Col.) Okuntimo as we were.”104

In a verbal deposition recorded as part of the US legal action, Boniface Ejiogu, who was Paul Okuntimo’s orderly from May 1994, confirmed that the ISTF tortured Ogoni chiefs and youths, often beating them with horse whips (koboko):

“There were men with underwear and they would ask all of them to face the ground. They were handcuffed like this, handcuffed them like this. There is not enough handcuffs so our soldiers use this barbed wire, cut barbed wire with nails and handcuff them, tie them behind...All of them face the ground. Others receive koboko, mostly the chiefs they give them koboko. They will go to Okuntimo’s office, community chiefs.”105

A chief who was taken to Kpor on 21 May 1994, recounted to Human Rights Watch that when he refused to respond to Lieutenant-Colonel Okuntimo’s inquiries about the murders and MOSOP, he was ordered to strip and lie face down on the ground. He recalled:

“As I was lying there with my arms out at a 90 degree angle, Okuntimo ordered two soldiers standing on either side of me to whip me on the buttocks. The two men took turns hitting me, thirty lashes each, striking only when Okuntimo told them to do so. I couldn’t walk when they finished.”106

A man arrested in late June 1994 and taken to Kpor, told Human Rights Watch how he and four other villagers were forced to walk on their knees inside their cell for close to an hour while soldiers beat them with kobokos. Another man, who was also whipped at Kpor, was ordered to show other Ogonis his lash marks so they would not participate in MOSOP activities.107

The human rights violations continued in 1995. Victor Wifa, who provided a deposition in the US legal action, said he took part in peaceful protest marches against Shell in Ogoniland. The ISTF raided his home and arrested him in July 1995. He said he was also detained at the Kpor camp and subjected to beatings and torture. On the third day, he remembered being ordered to sign a piece of paper which he recalls involved agreeing to “never participate in any MOSOP activities and that I will not protest against Shell coming to Ogoni to operate anymore.” When he refused, soldiers ordered him to put his hands on the ground and then shot one of his fingers off.108 During his deposition in 2003, according to the transcript, Victor Wifa showed lawyers his missing finger.109 Ken Saro-Wiwa and other people arrested in connection with the murder of the four chiefs reported being subjected to torture or other ill-treatment while held at the Bori Military Camp and the Kpor detention centre, under the control of Paul Okuntimo.

Evidence of torture and other ill-treatment of the detainees emerged during their subsequent trial (details below). According to an affidavit, which was read out on the second day of the trial, Ken Saro-Wiwa said he was regularly beaten, held in manacles in a cell containing 30 other Ogoni prisoners, and denied food and medical care while in detention.110 Baribor Bera, a member of the MOSOP youth organization, NYCOP, told the court that after his arrest he had been brutally tortured, forced to sign a confession and implicate other defendants.111 On 23 February 1995 he showed the tribunal scars from beatings he said he had received at the Kpor detention centre: he said that he was stripped naked, tied to a pillar, flogged with a koboko and made to swallow teeth knocked out as a result of being beaten.112 On 27 June 1995, Paul Levula told the tribunal that he had been strung up by his hands for a long period on two occasions by the police in Port Harcourt following his arrest.113 Nordu Eawo, another NYCOP member, said that a leading prosecution witness had initially detained him and taken to the witness’ house, where he was beaten and cut on the genitals and head with a sharp stick by other prosecution witnesses.114 Nordu Eawo said that a tape-recording made at the time of this assault was later used by the police to prepare a statement, which he was forced to mark with his thumbprint. Another of the accused, Daniel Gbokoo, also claimed he was badly beaten during questioning by the police.115

Two Ogoni fishermen have described how they were arrested by members of the police unit seconded to guard Shell personnel and installations (known as the Supernumerary or SPY police) on 22 June 1994. In a letter faxed to journalists after their release
from prison in October 1998, Kagbara Bassee and Blessing Israel said that the police arrested them at Benson Beach, Akwa Ibon State. They said that the police officers, who were accompanied by Shell staff, beat them with batons, knocking Blessing Israel unconscious. After five days in the police’s detention, they were collected by the ISTF and transferred to Kpor, where the ill-treatment continued.

“We were all beaten half-dead and they told us that it is said that we the youths are the ones who destabilize the effort of government and stopped Shell of their operation.”116

The two men were held along with 19 other men on the same charges as Ken Saro-Wiwa and the “Ogoni Nine.”117 Shell denied that its staff were involved in their arrest.118 In August 1995 Clement Tusima, one of this group of detainees, died in detention as a result of malnutrition, poor prison conditions and medical neglect, Amnesty International reported at the time.119

Footnotes

102. Human Rights Watch, Nigeria: A Case Study of Military Repression in Southeastern Nigeria.
103. Excerpt of letter from Nicholas Ashton-Jones to Michael Birnbaum QC, 8 April 1995, reprinted in Michael Birnbaum QC, Nigerian Fundamental Rights Denied, Appendix 5A, p. 12.
104. Excerpt of letter from Nicholas Ashton-Jones to Michael Birnbaum, QC, April 8, 1995; reprinted in Michael Birnbaum, QC, Nigeria: Fundamental Rights Denied (London: Article 19, June 1995), Appendix 5A, p. 12.
105. Deposition of Boniface Ejiogu, Part I, 22 May 2004, p. 54.
106. Human Rights Watch, Nigeria: A Case Study of Military Repression in Southeastern Nigeria.
107. Human Rights Watch, Nigeria: A Case Study of Military Repression in Southeastern Nigeria.
108. Deposition of Victor B. Wifa, 2 April 2002, p. 133-5.
109. Deposition of Victor B. Wifa, 2 April 2002, p. 133
110. Transcript of the Ogoni Civil Disturbances Tribunal, Day 2, 21 February 1995, p. 33-37.
111. Transcript of the Ogoni Civil Disturbances Tribunal, Day 4, 23 February 1995, p. 41-5.
112. Transcript of the Ogoni Civil Disturbances Tribunal, Day 4, 23 February 1995, p. 45.
113. Amnesty International, Nigeria: The Ogoni Trials and Detentions (Index: AFR 44/020/1995), p. 9.
114. Amnesty International, Nigeria: The Ogoni Trials and Detentions (Index: AFR 44/020/1995).
115. Statement by Dabiel Gbokoo, 9 July 1994.
116. Letter from Kagbara Bassee and Blessing Israel, 27 October 1998.
117. The Nigerian government eventually set the men free unconditionally in 1998, following General Abacha’s death. Ian Black, Nigeria frees 20 Ogonis
jailed with Saro-Wiwa, The Guardian (UK), 9 September 1998, https://www.theguardian.com/world/1998/sep/09/ianblack
118. Associated Press, UK: Shell Oil Company Deny Allegations Of Torture In Nigeria Update, 11 August 1998, http://www.aparchive.com/metadata/you-tube/8e86477a83e7771c27a29a40ab37f857
119. Amnesty International, Urgent Action, 19 August 1997 (AI Index: AFR 44/17/97), available at file://intsec.amnesty.org/data/users/mark.dummett/Downloads/afr440171997en.pdf

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“I will fight to my last breath” – Esther Kiobel on her 22-year battle to get Shell in court http://royaldutchshellplc.com/2018/06/29/i-will-fight-to-my-last-breath-esther-kiobel-on-her-22-year-battle-to-get-shell-in-court/ Fri, 29 Jun 2018 18:03:44 +0000 http://royaldutchshellplc.com/?p=97330 “I will fight to my last breath” – Esther Kiobel on her 22-year battle to get Shell in court was first posted on June 29, 2018 at 7:03 pm.
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Esther Kiobel poses with a picture of her beloved late husband, Dr. Barinem Kiobel, one of “Ogoni 9” executed by Nigeria’s military government after a peaceful uprising against Shell in 1995. Photograph: Amnesty International

29 June 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 what she says is 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.

Following Shell’s request for “assistance”, Nigeria’s military government launched a brutal government crackdown on Ogoni communities. This culminated in the arrest of nine men, including Dr. Kiobel and the renowned writer and activist Ken Saro-Wiwa, who were wrongfully accused of involvement in the murder of four Ogoni chiefs. No credible evidence was ever presented to support , but the men were hanged after months of appalling mistreatment in detention and a blatantly unfair trial.

For Esther, Shell’s involvement in all this is clear: “My husband was killed because his God gave oil to his land,” she says.

So last year, along with Victoria Bera, Blessing Eawo and Charity Levula, whose husbands were also among those executed, Esther filed a writ, containing hundreds of pages of evidence, alleging that Shell colluded in human rights violations against the Ogoni people.

Amnesty International, which is supporting the case, has independently assessed and believes that Shell encouraged the authorities in their campaign to stop the protests, even after it knew they were committing human rights violations. The women are seeking compensation and an apology from Shell.

You can read about Amnesty’s investigation into the role of Shell in human rights violations in Ogoniland in the 1990s here

Taking a powerful multinational to court is an agonizingly long process. Because of the impossibility of achieving justice in Nigeria, Esther first brought a case against Shell in the US in 2002 but the case was dismissed in 2015 on jurisdictional grounds. The new case was brought in Shell’s home jurisdiction of the Netherlands, but there were more obstacles in store. In September 2017 Shell’s US law firm refused to hand over more than 100,000 internal documents crucial to Esther’s case – Given the seriousness of the allegations, it is vital that Shell releases the rest of the information.

“I need the truth to be heard,” says Esther. “l will continue fighting even if it takes my last breath – to see my husband exonerated for a crime he did not commit.”

What’s especially disturbing is that, more than two decades after these traumatic events, Shell’s operations are still polluting Ogoniland. Earlier this year groundbreaking research by Amnesty International found that the company is still failing to respond quickly enough to reports of oil spills, leaving some to go unchecked for months on end. The organization also found evidence that Shell blames some spills on sabotage to avoid paying compensation to affected communities.

Esther fled Nigeria in 1996 and sought asylum in the United States, but says her friends and family in Nigeria are still suffering from Shell’s pollution. “All the land, and water that we use for fishing, it is all polluted. People are dying; young people, the old, children. Shell has the money but it refuses to clean up,” she says.

Instead of committing to proper clean-ups, Shell concentrates time and resources into fighting a raft of legal battles relating to its irresponsible practices all over the world. There are currently more than 50 lawsuits pending against Shell, relating to its involvement in historic human rights abuses, corruption and environmental destruction. Plaintiffs from the Philippines to Nigeria to the US are determined to see Shell brought to justice for the harm it has caused in the name of profit.

Shell denies responsibility in all these cases. Esther believes that, despite its denials, Shell is fully aware of the extent of the damage it has caused.

“Shell has the money to suppress the voice of the people,” she says. “They should come and face us in court. If they did nothing they should come out and face us in court…What is Shell hiding? I want the world to know what Shell did and to see them face justice.”

Esther hopes to bring an end to decades of impunity for Shell. Though the process is slow, she says she has been given strength by the thousands of Amnesty International activists from around the world who took action for her, sending messages of solidarity and signing a petition demanding justice.

“Amnesty International and other human rights activists gave me and my family the reason to live again. Knowing that people like Amnesty are fighting for me makes me happy,” she said.

“I appreciate [activists] for all they have been doing for us. I ask you to continue the good work, to stand by us and help us to fight for the injustice that is happening to our people.”

Esther is still waiting to see her case with Shell go to court. Her 22-year battle for justice continues.

*Shell stated that Amnesty International’s allegations relating to its current operations are false, without merit and fail to recognise the complex environment in which it operates. Shell also refutes the allegations that it supported the Nigerian military crackdown in Ogoniland in the 1990s, stating that it: “did not collude with the military authorities to suppress community unrest and in no way encouraged or advocated any act of violence in Nigeria.”

SOURCE

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Disclosure relating to Esther Kiobel and her litigation against Shell launched in June 2017: The lead claimant Esther Kiobel, her lawyer Channa Samkalden of the Dutch human rights law firm Prakken d’Oliveira representing the widows, and the acclaimed human rights organisation Amnesty International, have all acknowledged the involvement of John Donovan in bringing *this case. (*See Writ of Summons in English and Dutch served on Shell 28 June 2017 – copy obtained from US Pacer public electronic court records)

royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellnews.net and cybergriping.com are all owned by John Donovan
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