Anglo-Dutch oil giant Shell played a part in a ‘brutal campaign’ by the Nigerian security forces to silence protests in the oil-producing Niger Delta region in the 1990s, according to a new report by Amnesty International.
The human rights group is calling on the governments of Nigeria, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom to investigate Shell’s potential involvement in crimes linked to human rights violations in Ogoniland with ‘a view to prosecution’.
Amnesty bases its claim on a review of thousands of internal company documents and witness statements and says the evidence amounts to ‘complicity in murder, rape and torture’. Shell strongly denies the allegations.
Some of the documents come from files which Shell was ordered to disclose as part of a civil case against the company and many of the allegations have been made before. However, the report also includes evidence which has not been previously reported.
According to the Guardian, which has seen the documents, ‘it includes witness statements that allege Shell managed a unit of undercover police officers, trained by the Nigerian state security service, to carry out surveillance in Ogoniland after the oil company had publicly announced its withdrawal from the region.’
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