Nigeria executes anti-Shell activists, Nov. 10, 1995
On Nov. 10, 1995, amidst international outrage, the government of military strongman Sani Abacha executed nine anti-government activists, including playwright Ken Saro-Wiwa, ostensibly for ordering the murder of political rivals. The ethnic Ogoni activists opposed the lucrative oil industry presence that they said polluted the air and water of their tribal homeland. Oil revenues accounted for the vast majority of Nigerian government revenues.
An article in the Nov. 13, 1995, Syracuse Herald-Journal of Syracuse, N.Y., reported the grim details of Saro-Wiwa’s death.
“Blindfolded and dangling from a rope, Nigerian playwright Ken Saro-Wiwa spoke eight words before his body went limp: ‘Lord take my soul, but the struggle continues.’
“Because of faulty equipment, it took five attempts to hang the anti-government activist in Port Harcourt Friday morning.”
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Read more about human rights and Nigerian oil
A Dec. 15, 2005, editorial column in The Garden City Telegram of Garden City, Kansas, alleged continuing abuses in the oil-rich Niger Delta. Nigerian oil tainted by blood
An article published June 9, 2009, in The Winchester Star of Winchester, Va., announced a $15.5 million payout related to the executions in 1995. Shell settles human rights lawsuit