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