Dear friends,

Over the past 48 hours, Shell’s active role in human rights abuses in Nigeria has been exposed in a new Platform briefing: Dirty Work: Shell’s Security Spending in Nigeria. The briefing analyses financial data from Shell’s security department, leaked to Platform by a concerned ex-Shell manager.

The leaked data covers three bloody years of conflict in the Niger Delta between 2007 and 2009. It reveals Shell’s deep financial links to human rights abusers in the Delta, including soldiers, militants and other armed groups who perpetrated violence during this period. Shell’s leak shows that people within the company are deeply uncomfortable about the devastating impact of its operations.

We’ve had an overwhelming response so far. We made frontpage news in the Guardian, as well as reports by Reuters and AFP (see round up below). We gave several live TV interviews on Al-Jazeera (watch both here). The story has caught Twitter by storm and has been constantly tweeted about since Sunday night.

But we can do much more. 

Our friends at the US online action site for corporate accountability, Sum Of Us, have launched an e-action demanding that Shell stop funding armed conflict and human rights abuses in Nigeria. Please add your name to their action and share this story with anyone who may be interested. Together, we can hold Shell to account.

This is an historic moment to demand that Shell stops pouring money into the hands of human rights abusers. As I write this, the US Securities and Exchange Commission is deciding whether or not to require big oil, gas and mining companies to disclose the payments they make on a country and project level. Shell has enormous payments to hide in Nigeria and elsewhere, and is lobbying hard to defeat these legal changes.

Let’s tell Shell and other oil companies that these ‘security’ payments have to stop. Let’s demand an end to what writer and activist Ken Saro-Wiwa called the “slick alliance” between oil companies and the repressive regime in Nigeria.

As soldiers from Nigeria’s Joint Task Force (JTF) continue to deny basic rights and block environmental justice, we stand firm in our opposition to the militarisation of the Delta. Furthermore, we are appalled at the decision of the UK government and its allies to provide escalating levels of military aid to Nigeria to ‘secure’ Shell’s oil fields.

With your support, we can push back against the oil giant’s harmful activities.

In hope,

Ben, Mel, Kevin, Mika, Emma and the Platform team


Media round up:

AFP, Shell paid Nigeria millions to guard oil facilities: group,

Guardian, Shell spending millions of dollars on security in Nigeria, leaked data shows,

Guardian, Shell’s security spending in 2008 mapped,

Telegraph, Shell ‘paying tens of millions to Nigerian security forces,

The Bureau of Investigative Journalism, Shell spends $383m on security in Niger Delta,

Reuters, Nigeria took 40 pct of Shell security spend in late 2000s-NGO,

Al-Jazeera, Report: Shell gushed cash on Nigeria security,