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Shell accused over Syrian oil exports


By David Blair, Energy Correspondent

Published: May 29 2011 20:02

Royal Dutch Shell has been accused of working “hand in glove” with Syria’s regime after the energy company chartered a tanker to export almost 600,000 barrels of the country’s oil.
A spokesperson for Shell declined to confirm or deny the vessel’s arrival in Syria, saying only that the company does not comment on “commercial information”.

Hundreds of people have been killed since popular protests against the regime began in March. The army has responded to the unrest by opening fire on unarmed demonstrators in the country’s largest cities.

By continuing its commercial relationship with Syria despite the bloodshed, critics say that Shell is complicit in Mr Assad’s repression. “Shell continues to work hand in glove with the regime. The people of Syria rise up for freedom, but this company has placed itself firmly on the side of corrupt dictators,” said Lorenzo Paluello, a researcher for Platform.

The dependants of Shell’s expatriate staff have been evacuated from Syria in line with embassy advice, the company added. A spokeswoman declined to respond to criticism about the company’s alleged complicity with Mr Assad’s regime.

Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2011


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