indigenous justice

In 1995, activist Ken Saro-Wiwa and several others protesting the activities of Royal Dutch Shell in Nigeria and the effects of those activities on the Ogoni people were executed by the former Nigerian government.  Allegations persisted for years afterward that the oil company was complicit in the killings, and ultimately a lawsuit was filed against Shell in federal court in New York on behalf of the families of the activists.  Recently, Shell agreed to settle the suit, with no admission of wrongdoing, for US$15.5 million.  Part of the settlement will go to the activists’ families, and part will fund social programs for the region’s inhabitants. The case was seen as a bellwether for other companies whose practices in foreign countries may be affecting indigenous peoples.

Note: One of the earliest bits of content on this site was a local copy of Ken Saro-Wiwa’s final statement to the military tribunal that executed him.

This entry was posted on Thursday, July 16th, 2009 at 11:42 pm and is filed under currents, history. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.



where did you find this? i’d like to read more…

July 16th, 2009 at 11:47 pm

Ken Saro-Wiwa’s execution was actually widely reported at the time. Many of us Black grad students at Berkeley boycotted Shell gas stations for years afterward, and I still frequent other stations wherever possible.

July 17th, 2009 at 12:06 am
Graham Freeman:

I still avoid Shell because of Saro-Wiwa and the Ogoni. Chevron, Valero, and Esso each have their own criminal histories, but Shell’s recent history seems particularly awful. This settlement is a positive development, I suppose, but accepting responsibility for their actions would be something to respect.

July 17th, 2009 at 12:22 am
Graham Freeman:

linnea: here’s a good link:

July 17th, 2009 at 12:26 am

Leave a reply

Name (*)
Mail (will not be published) (*)