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Case: Kiobel v. Cravath, Swaine & Moore, LLP

A continued search for justice: Shell’s alleged complicity in torture and executions is challenged in the Netherlands.

When the Ogoni people of Nigeria organized in protest of Shell’s oil operations in the Niger Delta, Shell worked with the Nigerian military to crack down on the Ogoni. Nigerian soldiers used deadly force and massive, brutal raids against the Ogoni people throughout the early 1990s to repress a growing movement against the oil company. This crackdown culminated in the execution of nine Ogoni leaders, known internationally as the “Ogoni Nine,” on November 10, 1995.

As one final means of obtaining justice, in 2017 Ms. Kiobel filed a civil action in the Netherlands—home of Royal Dutch Shell—based on the same claims. Critical to winning her case in the Netherlands is evidence discovered during the U.S. Wiwa and Kiobel cases. Although this evidence was available to Ms. Kiobel during her U.S. lawsuit, she was required to return or destroy it when her case was thrown out of U.S. courts. This critical evidence still exists in the possession of the law firm that represented Shell in the U.S. litigation: Cravath, Swaine & Moore, LLP. In order to assist in re-obtaining these documents, ERI filed a petition pursuant to the Foreign Legal Assistance (FLA) Statute, 28 U.S.C. § 1782, in the Southern District of New York on Ms. Kiobel’s behalf.

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