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THE GUARDIAN: Dutch court will hear widows’ case against Shell over deaths of Ogoni Nine

Esther Kiobel, right, and Victoria Bera, centre, whose husbands were among nine men killed in Nigeria in 1995, with their lawyer Channa Samkalden after the hearing in The Hague. Photograph: Robin van Lonkhuijsen/EPA

Wed 1 May 2019

A Dutch court has ruled that it has jurisdiction to determine whether Royal Dutch Shell was complicit in the Nigerian government’s execution of the Ogoni Nine, environmental protesters who fought against widespread pollution in the Niger Delta.

In a 50-page ruling hailed by campaigners as an “important precedent” for global human rights cases, judges at The Hague’s district court said on Wednesday that they would allow the case to go forward, also indicating that the claimants – widows of four of the activists – would be able to bring further evidence to prove their case.

The four widows accuse Shell of instigating a deadly crackdown by the military government of the time against peaceful protesters in Ogoniland, in the Niger Delta, the most valuable oil-producing region in Africa.

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