Shell: Amnesty, Activist Accuse Oil Giant Of Human Rights Abuses In Niger Delta After UK Court Judgment

Following a recent United Kingdom’s Supreme Court ruling against Royal Dutch Shell activities in some Niger Delta communities in Ogoniland, the Amnesty International says that the oil giant and its subsidiaries are guilty of human rights violation in the area.

BBC reported on Friday, that “the UK Supreme Court has ruled that polluted Nigerian communities can sue oil giant Shell in English courts.”

The case was earlier filed by representatives of the Bille community and the Ogale people in Ogoniland.

They had argued that their environment and lives had been polluted by oil exploration activities of the oil giant, but it was dismissed by a Court of Appeal.

Reacting to the development, Amnesty International’s director, Global Issues Programme, Mark Dummett, said that the apex court’s verdict was a welcome development and served as a moral boost for marginalized communities to seek justice.

“This landmark ruling could spell the end of a long chapter of impunity for Shell and for other multinationals who commit human rights abuses overseas,” Dummett said as quoted by the BBC.

On its part, Shell described the ruling as “a disappointing decision” while adding that the “the spills at issue happened in communities that are heavily impacted by oil theft, illegal oil refining, and the sabotage of pipelines.”

It also argued that based on its corporate social responsibility, it had played a great role in the cleaning up the area.

But countering Shell’s position, Human Rights Activist and Executive Director,Youths and Environmental Advocacy Centre (YEAC), Rivers State, Fyneface Dumnamene, told THE WHISTLER on Friday, that the oil giant was merely denying it is to be blamed for the pollution in the land.

He said that the court ruling was a welcome development because “the condition of the region cannot be swept under the carpet.”

He also said that “Ogale is in Ogoniland and we have not seen this commitment from Shell to show that they are really carrying out the clean up.”

He advised the oil company not to see the people’s yearnings as sabotage but admit the environmental degredation was due to “Shell pollution.”