'I still feel pain in my heart that my husband was killed, and I need justice for him, and my people.' Esther Kiobel
Esther's fight for justice
Esther Kiobel has taken on one of the world’s biggest oil companies – Shell – in a final fight for justice for her husband’s killing.
She has pursued them for more than 20 years and now Esther has taken Shell to court for colluding in her husband’s execution in 1995. On Shell's insistence that the government "deal with" environmental protests, the military killed and tortured people in a brutal crackdown that culminated in the 1995 sham trial and hanging of nine Nigerian men - including Esther’s husband, environmental activist Dr Barinem Kiobel.
As the ongoing David and Goliath battle continues, over seventeen thousand of you told Shell you support Esther. Thank you.
Shell’s quest for oil has devastated the once fertile land in the Niger Delta. Communities have been left destitute from decades of pollution. Oil spills have ravaged farmland and rivers, contaminating their water and putting their health at grave risk.
In the 1990s, Shell seemingly would stop at nothing to make sure they were turning a profit. The company urged Nigeria’s military government to deal with environmental protests – knowing full well what that could mean. The military killed and tortured people in a brutal crackdown that culminated in the 1995 sham trial and hanging of nine Nigerian men, including Esther’s husband, Dr Barinem Kiobel.
Losing her husband tore Esther’s world apart. Fearing for her life, she fled Nigeria with her children. She never stopped struggling to have her husband’s name cleared.
This month, Esther is taking Shell to court in the Netherlands in what will be a tense David vs Goliath face-off. Shell has done everything it can to keep her complaints out of the public eye. But Esther won’t let them make her feel small.
Amnesty International presented the allegations to Shell in a letter dated 18 June 2017. Shell’s global headquarters did not provide a substantive response.
'The allegations cited in your letter against [Shell] are false and without merit. [Shell Nigeria] did not collude with the military authorities to supress community unrest and in no way encouraged or advocated any act of violence in Nigeria….We have always denied these allegations in the strongest possible terms.' Shell Nigeria