News Release

Congressional Focus on Nigeria: Interviews Available

WASHINGTON — While a congressional hearing today focuses on Nigeria, advocates for human rights and environmental protection are available for interviews on the role of oil companies in backing repressive actions by the Nigerian government.

Among those available for interviews are:

BRONWEN MANBY
A researcher for Human Rights Watch, Manby is one of three witnesses to be testifying before the House subcommittee on Africa about the human rights status of the Niger Delta. She is author of The Price of Oil: Corporate Responsibility and Human Rights Violations in Nigeria’s Oil Producing Communities (1999). Manby said: “The oil companies operating in Nigeria share a responsibility to ensure that oil production does not continue at the cost of violations of the rights of those who live in the areas where oil is produced. Given the deteriorating security situation in the Delta, it is all the more urgent for the companies to adopt systematic steps to ensure that the legitimate protection of company staff and property does not result in summary executions, arbitrary detentions, and other violations.”
More Information

STEVE KRETZMANN
Director of the oil program at Project Underground, an environmental and human rights organization, Kretzmann has gone on two fact-finding missions to the Niger Delta. He said: “By continuing to pump oil out of the Delta without regard for the area’s pollution, desperate poverty and the killing of peaceful protestors, the multinational oil companies are throwing fuel on an incendiary situation which they have largely caused. The U.S. public and Congress should renew pressure on Chevron and the other oil companies to comply with U.S. environmental and human rights standards now.”
More Information

PAUL EKADI
President of the Ijaw National Congress USA, representing the largest ethnic group in the oil-producing region of the Niger Delta, Ekadi said: “There have been many incidents of violence against environmental protestors this year, several of them involving the complicity or even the participation of Chevron equipment and personnel. This continues today. The most recent was a full-scale battle in the streets of the main oil-producing city, Warri, in July, where the Nigerian news media reported that Chevron helicopters were used to supply and transport Itsekiri militants into the war zone… Such conditions are more typical of Rwanda than a stable democracy. Despite the recent presidential elections, unless multinational oil corporations end their systematic human rights and environmental abuses in the Niger Delta, democracy will not be achieved in Nigeria.”

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy: Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; David Zupan, (541) 484-9167