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Old 05-31-2009, 07:52 AM   #1
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Default NIGERIA: Wiwa v. Shell - NY Trial Begins, June-09

Ken Saro-Wiwa (1945-95) was an Ogoni environmental activist, teacher, writer, poet, leader. He and eight others were executed in Nigeria (Nov 1995).

Bio
http://www.allthingspass.com/uploads...17aug03_F).doc

"Saro-Wiwa’s life was punctuated by careers as teacher, civil servant, publisher, television producer and dramatist. He is the author of over forty major works, including novels, volumes of poetry, essays, plays, journalism, short stories and children’s books. From 1985 to 1990, Saro-Wiwa created, wrote, produced, financed and marketed Nigeria’s most popular situation comedy, Basi & Co., watched weekly by 30 million Nigerians. Winner of the Goldman Environmental Prize and the Right Livelihood Award in 1995, he was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize prior to his execution.

"Jailed under the Treason and Treasonable Offenses Decree promulgated in 1993 by President Gen. Ibrahim Babangida, Saro-Wiwa wrote (from prison) poetry that widely echoed the sentiments of the minority delta peoples:

Ogoni is the land
The people, Ogoni
The agony of trees dying
In ancestral farmlands
Streams polluted weeping
Filth into murky rivers
It is the poisoned air
Coursing the luckless lungs
Of dying children
Ogoni is the dream
Breaking the looping chain
Around the drooping neck
of a shell-shocked land (widely circulated prison poem).

“The land and the people are one and are expressed as such in our local languages,” according to Dr. Owens Wiwa, Ken Saro-Wiwa’s brother.

The Ogoni have always respected nature, and this informed the struggle for the environment. There are lots of names for the spiritual trees, sacred rivers and lakes, and the traditions are very important. When people are ill, they revert back to indigenous beliefs and folklore (Personal communication, Dr. Owens Wiwa, 2003).

14 years after Ken Saro-Wiwa's death, family points finger at Shell in court
• Ogoni plaintiffs link oil giant to Nigerian atrocities
• New York case seen as test of corporate accountability
The Guardian, Wednesday 27 May 2009
http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2...wiwa-shell-oil

In 1995, at a trial that resulted in his conviction and execution, the Nigerian writer and environmental activist Ken Saro-Wiwa vowed that the oil giant Shell would one day be brought to justice.
......
In addition to the alleged murder of the Ogoni nine, they also hold Shell partially responsible for torture, illegal detention, forced exile and shootings of hundreds of Ogoni protesters during the 1990s.

Shell in Nigeria: What are the issues?
http://www.essentialaction.org/shell/issues.html

...Oil Spills
Although Shell drills oil in 28 countries, 40% of its oil spills worldwide have occurred in the Niger Delta10. In the Niger Delta, there were 2,976 oil spills between 1976 and 1991. In the 1970s spillage totaled more that four times that of the 1989 Exxon Valdez tragedy. Ogoniland has had severe problems stemming from oil spillage, including water contamination and loss of many valuable animals and plants. A short-lived World Bank investigation found levels of hydrocarbon pollution in water in Ogoniland more than sixty times US limits13 and a 1997 Project Underground survey found petroleum hydrocarbons one Ogoni village's watersource to be 360 times the levels allowed in the European Community, where Shell originates....

WIWA V. SHELL - The Case Against Shell Trial Schedule
http://wiwavshell.org/trial-schedule/

May 26, 2009: The Wiwa v. Shell trial was originally scheduled to begin on May 27, 2009. On May 26, Chief Judge Kimba Wood ordered the trial postponed; she did not yet set a new trial date but set a hearing date for June 1, 2009 and stated that the earliest that jury selection will now begin is June 2, 2009. Please see the order, here. We will post updates to www.wiwavshell.org as soon as they become available.
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