Today, a Supreme Court case starts to decide whether corporations can literally get away with murder. As well as being a vital case for the Ogoni people in Nigeria who have borne the brunt of Shell’s terrible attacks on the lives and human rights, this is also a key case in the battle about whether corporations can be held legally accountable for gross human rights abuses in foreign countries, or whether they enjoy legal immunity when operating internationally.
When the Ogoni people of Nigeria began to nonviolently protest Shell’s oil development, Shell cooperated with the Nigerian military regime to violently suppress opposition through extrajudicial killing, torture, and crimes against humanity. More than 60 villages were raided, over 800 people were killed, and 30,000 more were displaced from their homes.
Now this precedent-setting Supreme Court case could finally bring justice for the Ogoni people of Nigeria, but corporations like Dole Foods have filed briefs to the Supreme Court in support of Shell to protect their own interests and make sure they can’t be held accountable for human rights abuses abroad either.