UK government defends the rights of Royal Dutch Shell to commit mayhem in Nigeria

Jane Croft, Law Courts Correspondent for the Financial Times reports that the UK government is facing pressure from human rights activists about why it has intervened in a US lawsuit brought by Niger Delta communities who are suing oil major Royal Dutch Shell, claiming that Shell is responsible for serious human rights abuses and environmental damage in the region.

Land, rivers and wetlands have been spoiled by oil spills

Over 2,000 oil spills have been reported in the Niger Delta, which, according to Amnesty International, have devastated the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of people. Yet, the companies responsible, which include Shell, have to date failed to adequately compensate those affected. 

The UK government and the Dutch government have jointly filed a so-called “amicus brief” to the US Supreme Court on the side of Shell in the long running Kiobel v Royal Dutch Petroleum case. 

Shell did not wish to comment on the court case. The Foreign Office said in a statement that the UK has a strong reputation as a defender of human rights. 

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Amnesty International has urged the Foreign Affairs Select Committee to ask the Foreign and Commonwealth Office for the reasons behind this intervention.

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Posted on May 24, 2012, in Conflict of interest, Corporate political nexus, Democracy undermined, Vested interests and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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