U.S. Leadership in Respect for Human Rights in Nigeria.
Since 1990, the Nigerian government has repeatedly violated both international and domestic prohibitions on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment against the indigenous people of Ogoniland for oil exploitation. Torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment must stop.
The Ogoni people have been victims of human right violations over the years. In 1990, Mobile Police Force men (MPF) shot down protesters against Shell in the village of Umuechem, killing 80 people and destroying 495 homes. In 1993, following protests that were designed to stop contractors from laying a new pipeline for Shell, the MOF raided the area to quell the unrest. In the chaos that followed, over 27 villages were raided, resulting in the death of over 2,000 Ogoni people and displacement of 80,000.
According to Amnesty International's 2009 report, "Killing At Will: Extrajudicial Executions and Other Unlawful Killings by the Police in Nigeria." Amnesty International documented 29 cases of victims of enforced disappearances and extrajudicial executions who had never appeared before a judge.
Since 1993 the Nigerian government and Shell have continuously harasses, arrests, beats, tortures, rapes and kills the Ogoni children, women and men. Between 1993 and 1996 over 2,000 children, women and men were killed and 30 Ogoniland villages were destroyed by the Nigerian armed forces.
On November 10th, 1995, without any valid allegation, Mr. Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight other Ogoni leaders were hanged by the Nigerian government. Their crimes? Asking for the protection of their basic human rights, voicing their right to self-determination, and exposing the Shell Petroleum Development Company's (SPDC) role in destroying their homeland, dismantling their communities and killing their people.
Today, the Ogoni people have: No functioning schools, No functioning hospitals, No social welfare programs, No pipe-borne water, No electricity, No job opportunities, No economic development projects and the people are living under fifty cents ($0.50) a day.
I am writing to you as your constituent, a supporter of peace, justice and human rights. I am very concerned with U.S. approach to extreme human rights violations, extreme poverty and injustice in Niger Delta region of Nigeria, particularly in Ogoniland. I would like to draw your attention to these extreme conditions and also to the oil related violent conflicts in the area. According to Amnesty International's 2009 report, "Killing At Will: Extrajudicial Executions and Other Unlawful Killings by the Police in Nigeria." Amnesty International also documented 29 cases of victims of enforced disappearances and extrajudicial executions who had never appeared before a judge.
Since 1990, the Nigerian government has repeatedly violated both international and domestic prohibitions on torture and other cruel, inhuman treatment against the indigenous people of Ogoniland for oil exploitation.
such an unlivable environment is very troubling to me and I am asking you, my Senator/Representative, to introduce a bill to:
1. Prevail on the Federal Government of Nigeria to honor the rights of the indigenous people of Ogoniland.
2. Prevail on the American Government to Stop Military Assistance for oil drilling In Nigeria and to stop buying Nigerian oil, as it only go to encourage the further dehumanization of the Ogoni people.
3. Send urgent medical and other humanitarian aid to the Ogoni people.
4. Call upon the Department of State to seek and to ensure that Shell, Chevron and other American oil companies operating in the Ogoniland, Nigeria, comply with Principles for Human Rights and to pay compensation to the indigenous people of Ogoni People for ruining the Ogoni environment and the health of Ogoni men, women and children.
5. Prevail on the Federal Government of Nigeria to conduct a thorough judicial review of the trial of Ken Saro-Wiwa and 8 other Ogoni, and to provide just compensation to the survivors of the Ogoni 9 if a miscarriage of justice is found.
6. Prevail on the Federal Government of Nigeria, international donors, and international oil companies operating in the Ogoniland, Niger Delta to increase assistance to improve the lives of the Ogoni and other affected communities.
7. Prevail on the Federal Government of Nigeria to ensure that the security forces receive training and compliance in international standards on the use of force and firearms.
8. Prevail on Shell and Chevron to stop flaring gas in Ogoniland.
9. Prevail on the Federal Government of Nigeria to pay all royalties and mining rents collected on oil mined from Ogoni since 1958.
10. Prevail on the Federal Government of Nigeria to stop land expropriation, military occupation, rape, violence, extra-judicial killings, harassment and other cruel treatments against the indigenous people of Ogoni.
These issues are very important to me. A response from you would be greatly appreciated and I hope you will give my appeal a serious consideration, thank you very much.
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