Feb 28, 2001

Ogoni human rights hearing in Port Harcourt

Participating at the Oputa Human Rights Investigation Panel hearings in Port Harcourt, Nigeria, MOSOP has called on the Nigerian military to accept responsibility for grave human rights violations committed by its officer corps against the Ogoni. MOSOP found it appalling that senior officers appearing before the Oputa Panel, including those of the notorious Rivers State Internal Security Task Force, played down or even deny any involvement in arbitrary shootings, rapes, assaults and detentions which occurred in Ogoniland between 1994 and 1998. Unless the Nigerian military take responsibility, the testimonies of its officers are nothing less than a disgrace to the whole purpose of the Panel: to bring justice to the victims of these human rights abuses.

Marking another important development, the US Supreme Court in Washington has ruled that
Shell International and its subsidiary Shell Transport and Trading can be prosecuted for their
alleged involvement in the Ken Saro-Wiwa murder case. Ken Saro-Wiwa, a staunch opponent of Shell activities in Ogoniland, Nigeria, was executed in 1995 by the then military junta. He also played a leading role within UNPO structures in the years preceding his execution.