Oil giant, Shell is haunted by its past.

You see, when the oil company came into Ogoni land in the Niger Delta, they faced opposition from indigenous people because of the environmental pollution caused by crude exploration activities.

This opposition led to hostilities by the people and Shell reacted by allegedly conniving with government to deal with those who opposed their activities.

Part of the measures to silence the opposition eventually led to deaths and torture of hundreds of Ogoni people.

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Now, an international non-governmental organization focused on human rights, Amnesty International is calling on Nigeria, the UK and the Netherlands to launch investigations into the company, over its role in the horrific crimes committed by the Nigerian military government during the period.

The organization has released a ground-breaking review of thousands of pages of internal company documents and witness statements, as well as Amnesty International’s own archive from the period.

According to Amnesty International, Movement for the survival of Ogoni People, MOSOP activists faced numerous human rights violations, including the unlawful killing of hundreds of Ogonis, as well as torture and other ill-treatment, including rape, and the destruction of homes and livelihoods.

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The Nigerian military’s campaign to silence the Ogoni people’s protests against Shell’s pollution led to widespread and serious human rights violations, many of which also amounted to criminal offences.

“The evidence we have reviewed shows that Shell repeatedly encouraged the Nigerian military to deal with community protests, even when it knew the horrors this would lead to – unlawful killings, rape, torture, the burning of villages,” said Audrey Gaughran, Director of Global Issues at Amnesty International.

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