amsterdam - Amnesty International calls on Nigeria, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands to conduct a criminal investigation into the role of Shell in crimes committed by the Nigerian government against the Ogoni community in the 1990s.
According to the human rights organization, Shell's internal documents and testimonies show that the oil company repeatedly encouraged the Nigerian army to take action against protests from the Ogoni.
Residents of Ogoniland revolted after oil spills from Shell had caused enormous environmental damage. Shell asked a paramilitary police unit in 1990 for 'protection' against protests on which agents attacked the village of Umuechem and killed at least eighty people. According to Amnesty, the multinational continued to ask for military help in the following years, which led to new bloodshed.
Internal memos and minutes show that Shell urged military support among senior officials, even after the security forces had killed, tortured and raped demonstrators. According to Amnesty, the directors in The Hague and London were fully informed.
Shell has always denied having been involved in these human rights violations. 'Shell has not encouraged or encouraged violence. We believe that the facts will clearly show that Shell was not responsible for those tragic events, 'the Nigerian branch of the multinational has announced. According to Amnesty, however, research has not been done before.