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Bombay Shell protest press release
Message from Ann Leonard (email@example.com):
Indian activists are holding two protests in honor of Ken Saro-Wiwa today.
One takes place at noon at a Shell Petrol station in a crowded tourist area
on Janpath Street in New Delhi. At least two Members of Parliament and a
political street theatre group will participate. The other takes place at
3:30 at Shell's Indian headquarters in Mumbai (formerly Bombay) and
includes a protest march and mock hanging with 9 activists wearing black
cloth hoods with Shell logos on them. We will send an update after the
protests have finished.
For more information on the Indian Campaign, contact Nity at firstname.lastname@example.org
The struggle continues...
Nity and Annie
For Immediate Release 10 November, '97
Ken Saro-wiwa's last words: "Lord take my soul, but the struggle continues!"
10 November 1997 (Mumbai) – Nine human rights activists with black masks
and hangman's nooses around their necks demonstrated alongwith nearly two
hundred other environmental, human rights and labour activists outside
Shell India's headquarters in Mumbai. The protest is in memory of Ken
Saro-Wiwa and eight other Nigerian activists who were executed two years
ago today by the Nigerian military rulers for their role in protesting
against the environmental and human rights violations perpetrated by Shell
Petroleum Development Corporation in Nigeria. Participating organisations
include India Centre for Human Rights & Law, Samata Party, Hind Mazdoor
Kisan Panchayat (HMKP), People's Union for Civil Liberties, Centre for
Protection of Democratic Rights and Washington, D.C.-based Essential Action.
"HMKP will mobilise all its forces to fight against Shell condemning its
Nigerian incident," declared Sharad Rao, general secretary of Hind Mazdoor
Kisan Panchayat and Samata Party.
The activists resolved to collect more than 1000 signatures within 30 days
in support of a memorandum calling for an independent UN-led scrutiny into
the role of various governmental and private players (including Shell) in
the executions of the Ogoni Nine and the conditions leading up to it. The
memorandum will be presented to Mr. Soli Sorabjee, who was appointed last
month as special envoy of the United Nations Human Rights Commission to
Similar protests and demonstrations are also being staged in solidarity at
various places around the world including New Delhi, Washington, D.C,
Vancouver, Canada, the Netherlands, United Kingdom and Germany.
Ken Saro-Wiwa's brother, Dr. Owens Wiwa who fled Nigeria after Ken's
execution, is calling for an international boycott of Shell Oil until they
compensate the Ogonis, rehabilitate the devastated environment of Ogoniland
and withdraw from Nigeria. Dr. Wiwa said "The support of people in India
will be a critical factor that may change our fortune. The population of
India alone can send Shell worrying. The Ogoni people are grateful for your
support." Shell India has recently announced plans to invest upwards of $2
billion in India. It also plans to explore for gas in the politically
unstable Northeastern state of Tripura.
Since the 1950's, Shell has extracted over US$30 billion worth of oil from
Ogoniland, leaving behind a legacy of severe environmental contamination
and human rights violations. While Shell is the world's most profitable
company, the Ogoni people live in abject poverty in an area without
electricity and clean drinking water.
Human rights and environmental activists around the world agree that Shell,
the largest investor in Nigeria, is directly culpable for the miserable
human and environmental condition in Ogoniland. In January, 1996, Shell
even admitted to the Observer UK that it had imported arms into Nigeria "to
help arm the police."
"This is only the beginning of an avalanche of protest against Shell in
India," said Bittu Sahgal, a noted environmentalist. "We are aware of
Shell's appalling environmental and human rights track record in Nigeria
and are committed to doing our bit to make them pay for their crimes."
For more information, contact India Centre for Human Rights & Law, 4/f
Engineers' House, Bombay Samachar Marg, Mumbai 400 021, or contact
(Nity)anand Jayaraman at 6427793