Murder, Environmental Devastation and Human Rights Abuses Are Bad, Even In Nigeria

Abby Zimet

Embroiled in a pivotal Supreme Court case in which they are charged with complicity in murder, torture and other crimes that left 800 dead and 30,000 displaced from their homes, all in the name of suppressing peaceful opposition to their development plans in the 1990s, Shell Oil has blocked news of the case from over 70,000 employees who heard about it from the company's "Grassroots Employee Empowerment Division" - which, as it turns out, doesn't exist. An action by two activist groups, The Yes Men and People Against Legalizing Murder (PALM), thanks to their secret file of 71,000 Shell employees' emails. At the heart of the case, based on a 200-year-old statute aimed at compensating victims of international crimes, is Shell's argument that it's not liable because it's not a person - except when it comes to election spending, when it is. More about the case, Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum, here and here.

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