Justice In Nigeria Now!

For Human Rights, Environmental Protection and Community Livelihoods

Archive for September, 2008

Senate Hearing on Human Rights and Extractive Industry

Posted by sarahjinn on September 22, 2008

Environmental and Human Rights Activists to Testify Before Senate on Abuses by Extractive Industries Abroad, Including Chevron in Nigeria and Burma

ed kashi

copyright: ed kashi

Groups to Call for Responsibility of Oil Giant and other Extractive Industry Companies at Hearing before Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Human Rights and the Law

Earth Rights International:

Washington, D.C., September 22, 2008 – One month before it will appear before a federal jury in the landmark human rights case, Bowoto v. Chevron, facing charges of torture and wrongful death, Chevron, along with other leading extractive industry companies, will come under the scrutiny of the U.S. Senate’s Subcommittee on Human Rights and the Law. In the hearing, “Extracting Natural Resources: Corporate Responsibility and the Rule of Law,” witnesses will bring to light oil, mining and gas companies’ complicity in human rights abuses perpetrated by public or private security forces in Nigeria, Burma, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Indonesia.

Nigerian activist Nnimmo Bassey, Executive Director of the Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria, will testify about Chevron’s repression of nonviolent environmental protesters, which gave rise to the Bowoto v. Chevron lawsuit. Mr. Bassey will explain that use of the brutal Nigerian military forces by multinational oil companies, including Chevron, continues unabated today. He will be joined by co-founder and Executive Director of EarthRights International (ERI), Ka Hsaw Wa, who will testify about the egregious human rights violations associated with gas pipeline projects in Burma, including Chevron’s Yadana project, drawing from ERI’s fourteen years of experience documenting human rights abuses in the Yadana pipeline region.

The hearing will also include testimony from Jeffrey Krilla, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, as well as Arvind Ganesan, Director of the Business and Human Rights Program at Human Rights Watch. Embargoed testimony is available upon request.

The Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Human Rights and the Law, chaired by Senator Richard J. Durbin, was established in January 2007 and is the first Senate committee or subcommittee focusing exclusively on human rights.

Listen to the hearing on Wednesday at 10:45am EST

Posted in Bowoto v. Chevron, Chevron, Nigeria, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Filmmaker Sandy Cioffi Speaks about MEND

Posted by sarahjinn on September 18, 2008

There is much controversy around the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) in Nigeria.  Watch and listen  to the perspective of filmmaker Sandy Cioffi from her interview on Democracy Now in May of this year. Sandy is another filmmaker who was detained by the Nigerian police earlier this year.

Posted in Bowoto v. Chevron, Chevron, MEND, Nigeria, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

American filmmaker returned to US after detainment by Nigerian government

Posted by sarahjinn on September 11, 2008

Re-posted from helpandy.wordpress.com

NEW YORK, September 11, 2008 –Andrew Berends, the American filmmaker who had been detained by Nigerian State Security Services was returned to the United States Wednesday. He was escorted to his plane by Nigerian immigration officers without an explanation as to why he was being sent home. Berends was never charged with a crime, and had a legal business visa in his passport at the time of his detainment.

His Nigerian translator, Samuel George, has been provisionally released, but is expected to return to the State Security Services offices at noon on Friday, along with a third man who had also been detained. The status of any investigation against them is still uncertain.

Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) and Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) jointly sponsored a letter, written to the President of Nigeria calling for Berends’ immediate release, and signed by Senators Patty Murray (D-WA), Richard Durbin (D-IL), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Russell Feingold (D-WI), Robert Casey (D-PA), Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and John Kerry (D-MA).

This is the third in a string of similar detainments of American journalists in the past two years by the Nigerian government. Most recently, five members of the crew making the documentary film “Sweet Crude” were detained for seven days, before ultimately being released without being charged.

Berends says, “I am extremely disappointed with this pattern of suppressing press freedom in Nigeria. It calls into question the Nigerian government’s sincerity when it comes to upholding the basic tenets of democracy since the transition from military rule in 1999.”

Berends was in Nigeria working on his documentary film, “Delta Boys,” about the militancy in the Niger Delta. He had been arrested at Nembe Waterside in Port Harcourt along with his translator, Samuel George, while filming women on their way to market. He had been granted permission to film by the military sergeant in charge in the area.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Sign-On Letter to Chevron’s CEO

Posted by sarahjinn on September 4, 2008

Join Justice In Nigeria Now to send a strong message to Chevron about their human rights abuses in Nigeria.

165 people who have already signed a letter to Chevron’s CEO David O’Reilly calling on Chevron to stop paying transporting, and housing the Nigerian military and police forces who shoot, injure and kill innocent unarmed protesters in Nigeria. Sign Letter!

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »