From Shocking to Unconscionable
Human Rights Abuses – From Shocking to Unconscionable
Sharing this here for a record of history. Hoping that one day breaking news will be reporting on something to rejoice about.
The Guardian is a very informative publication that wears the name “integrity in journalism” well. Based in the UK (United Kingdom) they report current events with a zeal that is hard to be matched by other major news reporting organizations. Also, their articles provide valuable reference material and serve as excellent historical markers.
Here is an example an article published in 2012:
“Shell spending millions of dollars on security in Nigeria ...”
This Guardian article, in conjunction with an article published by a lesser known publication called Climate & Capitalism (below) painted a shocking and frightening picture of the Shell Oil Company.
“Shell finances violent human rights abusers in Nigeria”
For me, Shell Oil Company is like the Coca Cola Company, i.e. everybody in the USA grew up accepting them as a legitimate ongoing business and never questioned their consumer products they provided or their honesty. Needless to day the headlines got my attention.
What was reported?
SUMMARY: Shell spent $383 million to commit human rights abuses which it appears were deemed “security measures” necessary to protect their investment and interest in the oil-rich Niger Delta region.
The matter was far from settled in August 2012. At that time, lifting a quote directly from one of the articles:
“Shell is currently trying to persuade the US Supreme Court not to hold corporations accountable for human rights violations overseas”
It's 2015. Without doing any further follow up to determine the current state of affairs for this well-known recognized and respected multinational oil company, what should one think after reading that statement?
Look judge! Give us the benefit of the doubt. Let's say corruption, power-mongering, violence and murder happened! Let's say there is a file somewhere that has damning evidence and information exposing brutal crimes, callous oppression and horrendous human rights violations. It happened overseas! How are we responsible??
As mentioned earlier, 3 years have passed and even though the actions of Shell should not be ignored, disregarded or forgotten, these days, Nigeria has a way bigger problem with regard to human rights abuses.
QUESTION: Does anything good ever happen in Nigeria?
LOGO by Ministry of Information Nigeria (http://doraakunyilionline.org/rebrand.htm) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
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