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Time to redraw the battle lines

Financial Times

By Hugh Williamson

Published: December 30 2009 22:06

It is dusk in London and Amnesty International has mobilised hundreds of protesters in its campaign against Shell’s allegedly damaging business practices in the Niger Delta. They march in a snake formation, some carrying flaming torches, others a replica pipeline on their shoulders. Their aim is to draw attention to huge oil spills and gas flaring that, they say, are ruining the health and livelihood of many in this troubled corner of Nigeria.

The Amnesty argument is two-fold. First, that Shell could do much more to prevent damaging practices such as large-scale oil spills and gas flaring – which involves burning off gas generated as a byproduct of oil production and can harm people’s livelihood and health. Second, that the company is hypocritical in allowing these practices to happen while simultaneously claiming to have a fully effective programme protecting the rights of those exposed to Shell’s operations in the Delta.

FULL FT ARTICLE (SUBSCRIPTION)

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