NEW ANALYSIS: A Win for Wiwa, A Win for Shell, A Win for Corporate Human Rights by guest blogger Michael Goldhaber.
LATEST UPDATE: A settlement between the parties has been reached. Shell Oil agreed to give the plaintiffs $15.5 million, which will be used to cover a portion of the plaintiffs' legal fees and establish a Trust intended to benefit the Ogoni people.
THE CASE AGAINST SHELL: LANDMARK HUMAN RIGHTS TRIAL (WIWA V SHELL)
MICHAEL GOLDHABER DISCUSSES THE SETTLEMENT'S IMPLICATIONS:
Read his written analysis.
Update from the trial: to read more about the settlement go to Wiwa v. Shell or see video on the left and new article links below. Also be sure to check out Michael Goldhaber's analysis on what the settlement means for those working to advance human rights.
In 1995, Ogoni author and activist Ken Saro-Wiwa was hanged by the Nigerian military government. Saro-Wiwa, and the eight other advocates executed alongside him, were part of Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP), a peaceful movement against the environmental destruction and human rights abuses caused by oil extraction by oil giant Shell in Ogoniland, in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria. The trial that led to his execution was internationally condemned as a sham and, in his final statement, Saro-Wiwa predicted that the "ecological war [waged by Shell] in the Delta would be called to question sooner than later and the crimes of that war would be duly punished."
Now, 14 years later, oil giant Shell awaits trial under the Alien Tort Statute in a New York federal court in the coming weeks to answer charges of complicity in Saro-Wiwa's death. Shell is also accused of collusion with the Nigerian government in a series of other human rights violations designed to suppress opposition and silence resistance against the oil companies operating in the Delta.
We'll be following the trial with live updates from the courtroom as well as never-before-seen footage recorded by MOSOP - the organisation that Saro-Wiwa led.
Straight from the Courtroom
Read the analysis of Michael Goldhaber - Senior International Correspondent for The American Lawyer and author of A People's History of the European Court of Human Rights - right here on the Hub.
More commentaries on the trial, courtesy of the Business and Human Rights Resource Center:
- Paul Hoffman, Schonbrun DeSimone Seplow Harris & Hoffman: "Shell Settlement a Sign of Hope for Corporate Accountability", in Forum Column, Daily Journal, 15 Jun 2009
- Ken Saro-Wiwa Jr: "Some release from the torments of the past", in Guardian, Comment is Free, 9 Jun 2009
To learn more, watch:
● Ken Saro-Wiwa Memorial Video - by PEN USA on the 10th anniversary of Saro-Wiwa's death
To see all videos relating to this trial, visit the Shell on Trial Hub group.
The trial in the news
Al Jazeera (International) Shell Settles Nigerian Killings Lawsuit
CNN (US): Shell Oil Accused
BBC (UK): Shell Case to 'act as precedent'
NYT (US): Op-Ed: Trying an Old Law
The Times (UK): Portrait, Ken Saro-Wiwa
The Guardian (UK): Wiwa v Shell - the day of truth?