09 Jun 2009:
Shell to Pay Settlement
In Nigerian Environment, Rights Case
Royal Dutch Shell has agreed to pay $15.5 million to family members of a slain environmental activist
and other plaintiffs who accused the company of working with the Nigerian military junta to crush protests against the company’s pollution of the Niger River delta
. The settlement came on the eve of a New York trial in which the son and brother of murdered activist Ken Saro-Wiwa were suing Shell for working with the military regime to silence criticism from environmental activists from the Ogoni tribe. Saro-Wiwa was hung by the regime in 1995 after he led a campaign to force Royal Dutch Shell to cease polluting the Niger delta, home to roughly 500,000 Ogoni. Saro-Wiwa and others accused Shell of causing several thousand oil spills, lighting natural gas flares that covered villages in soot, and destroying mangroves to make way for pipelines. Shell said it was making the payment to the ten plaintiffs as a “humanitarian gesture” and denied any involvement in the execution of Saro-Wiwa or other human rights abuses.
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