The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Jen Nessel, 212.614.6449,
David Lerner, Riptide Communications,

Royal Dutch Shell to Go to Trial May 27 for Alleged Complicity in Torture and Murder of Nigerian Protesters


On Wednesday, May 27,
2009 at 10am
, the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), co-counsel
EarthRights International (ERI), and other human rights attorneys will appear
before Judge Kimba Wood of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of
New York for a human rights case against the Royal Dutch Shell company and the
head of its Nigerian operation, Brian Anderson.

Wiwa v. Royal Dutch Petroleum
and Wiwa v. Anderson are two
lawsuits on behalf of relatives of murdered activists who were fighting for
human rights and environmental justice in Nigeria. The cases charge the
corporation and this key official with complicity in the November 10, 1995 hanging of Ken
Saro-Wiwa and other leaders in the nonviolent opposition to Shell's pattern of
human rights abuses and environmental destruction: John Kpuinen, Saturday
Doobee, Daniel Gbokoo, Felix Nuate, and Dr. Barinem Kiobel. The cases also
include charges for the torture, detention, and forced exile of Mr. Saro-Wiwa's
brother, Dr. Owens Wiwa, and Michael Tema Vizor; and the shooting of Karololo
Kogbara and Uebari N-nah in two attacks on peaceful

Jury selection
is expected to last at least 1-2 days. Opening arguments are expected to begin
Thursday, May 28 at the earliest, or early the following
. Please
check for

WHAT: Start of trial in
Wiwa v. Royal Dutch Petroleum
and Wiwa v. Anderson

WHEN: Wednesday, May 27,

WHO: CCR attorneys Jennie
and Maria
LaHood, ERI attorneys Marco Simons
and Rick Herz, and cooperating attorneys
Judith Brown Chomsky, Anthony
and Beth
, and Paul
of Schonbrun, DeSimone,
Seplow, Harris and Hoffman

WHERE: United States District Court of
the Southern District of New
York 500 Pearl St. New York, NY

For complete pdf's of the legal briefs and further
background information, click here
or visit and

The Center for Constitutional Rights is dedicated to advancing and protecting the rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. CCR is committed to the creative use of law as a positive force for social change.

(212) 614-6464