Amnesty International condems UK court ruling on Nigeria oil spill

Amnesty International has criticized Thursday a U.K. court ruling, which held that energy giant Shell could not be sued in London for oil spills by its subsidiary in Nigeria.
The court ruled Thursday on a case brought against the oil multinational firm, last year, by some 40,000 Nigerian villagers from Ogale and Bille communities in the southern Niger Delta region, who accused the Anglo-Dutch Shell of massive pollution of their environment these past five years and demanded compensation.
Amnesty International said the ruling “sets an especially dangerous precedent” capable of encouraging impunity by U.K.-based companies operating abroad.
“If it stands, then the UK Courts have given free rein to multinational companies based in the UK to abuse human rights overseas. Poor communities and developing countries will pay the price. This is a deeply depressing reminder of the impunity enjoyed by powerful corporations, and a blow to other communities in the Niger Delta who are still awaiting justice,” the rights group said in a statement.
“We hope and expect that the court of appeal will overturn this decision to show that the UK justice system will provide remedy to impoverished communities who suffer serious abuse caused by UK corporations,” it added.



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