The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

U.S.: Elizabeth Bast, Friends of the Earth U.S., +1-202-641-7203,
U.S.: Steve Kretzmann, Oil Change International, +1-202-497-1033,
U.K.: Ben Amunwa, PLATFORM/Remember Saro-Wiwa, +44-207-357-0055, +44-7891-454-714,

ShellGuilty TV Ads Launched to Hold Shell Accountable for Gas Flaring in Advance of Wiwa v Shell Trial

Ads demand Shell finally end gas flaring that Ken Saro-Wiwa died trying to stop; they will begin running in New York City this week


The ShellGuilty campaign announced today it will begin running TV
ads in New York City this week to hold Shell accountable for its
continued toxic gas flaring in Nigeria - one of the abuses that Ken
Saro-Wiwa and eight other nonviolent Nigerian activists died trying to

Shell will be put on trial in federal court in New York beginning
May 26, in a case in which it is charged with complicity in the
executions of Saro-Wiwa and the other activists, as well as other human
rights abuses.

The ads that will begin airing this week demand an end to gas
flaring, which harms Nigerians and exacerbates the climate crisis. The
ads can be viewed at
The campaign's network has sent over 9,000 letters to Shell CEO, Jeroen
van der Veer demanding an end to Shell's practice of gas flaring in

For more information about the ShellGuilty campaign visit The April 27 news release announcing the formation of the ShellGuilty campaign can be found here.


* Ken Saro-Wiwa was a writer and leading activist demanding
rights for Nigeria's Ogoni people, including an end to Shell's gas
flaring in Ogoni regions. As a result of his activism, Saro-Wiwa was
detained, imprisoned and tortured throughout the early 1990s. On
November 10, 1995, Saro-Wiwa and eight other Ogoni activists were
executed by the Nigerian government for their campaigning. Substantial
evidence indicates Shell collaborated with the Nigerian government in a
campaign of brutal crackdowns that culminated in the execution of
Saro-Wiwa and his colleagues. Shell will be forced to face this
evidence in U.S. federal district court in New York City in a trial
that begins May 26. On April 23, Judge Kimba Wood rejected Shell's
last-ditch attempt to avoid trial, rejecting the company's claim that
the court did not have jurisdiction to consider the case.

* Gas flares are open-air fires that burn the natural gas
that is released when oil is extracted from the ground. Industry
sources and World Bank research estimates vary, but most indicate that
gas flaring in the Niger Delta sends 53 to 60 million tons of carbon
dioxide (a global warming pollutant) into the atmosphere each year.
This is equivalent to the annual emissions of nine to ten million cars
in the U.S. Gas flares are toxic and harmful to human health, which is
why they are strictly regulated in countries such as the U.S. or U.K.
But because such flaring is cheap when environmental and human costs
are not taken into consideration, Shell and other oil companies have
burned gas flares continuously for decades in countries like Nigeria.

For more information about the campaign, Ken Saro-Wiwa, and gas flaring, visit

Friends of the Earth fights for a more healthy and just world. Together we speak truth to power and expose those who endanger the health of people and the planet for corporate profit. We organize to build long-term political power and campaign to change the rules of our economic and political systems that create injustice and destroy nature.

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