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Green Party: Greens defend human rights against Shell Group

Green Party: Greens defend human rights against Shell Group

“I am appalled that a court order has been granted when the grounds for doing so were themselves unlawful. By starting some aspects of work in Rossport prior to receiving the correct authorisation Shell have acted illegally.”

Posted Saturday 6th Aug 2005

Locals thrown into jail over illegal oil pipeline in Northern Ireland. Five men from Rossport in County Mayo have been imprisoned since last June for protesting at the construction of the Corrib pipeline by Shell. The men were imprisoned after breaching a court injunction not to obstruct the construction of a pipeline. Shell have since been ordered to dismantle two miles of the pipeline, as it had been built without consent.

Caroline Lucas, Principal Speaker for the Green Party said, ‘I am appalled that a court order has been granted when the grounds for doing so were themselves unlawful. By starting some aspects of work in Rossport prior to receiving the correct authorisation Shell have acted illegally.

The right to protest is enshrined in both the Irish constitution and in the European Convention on Human Rights. It is unacceptable that this entitlement has been over-ruled to, I assume, protect the interests of a multinational corporation such as Shell.’

The peaceful protesters were opposed to the pipeline being built because they were concerned about safety and environmental issues.

Caroline Lucas said, ‘The proposed pipeline will run through volatile wet peat close to family homes and land, putting them at risk if there is damage to the pipe. The pipe will contain pressurised, wet and untreated gas, full of impurities, straight from the well. The level of pressure in the pipeline will be three times the typical international standards set for onshore pipelines.”

“Also at risk is the fragile environment at the Corrib field. The laying of the pipeline and the possibility of a leak, place the peat and bog land under threat, as well as posing a risk to wildlife and habitats in surrounding areas. Again, a full and independent Environmental Impact Assessment must be a pre-condition of any planning consent.”

The protesters, known as the Rossport Five, have aroused intense media interest. Their case stands to make an important example in terms of human rights. The London Irish Greens held a protest outside Shell HQ on Tuesday of this week, to demonstrate solidarity with the persecuted men.

‘This is an extremely important case – both in terms of the questions it raises about Shell’s apparent manipulation of the legal system, and in terms of the rights of local people to protect the natural resources in their community. I hope that the Irish government can take action to show that the rights, needs and wishes of its citizens carry more weight than those of Shell and other multinational corporations,’ concluded Caroline Lucas.

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