Posted by San Diego Mercury News on
Ten Nigerian citizens have sued Chevron Corp. in federal court in San Francisco for alleged human rights violations during a protest at a Chevron oil terminal in Nigeria last year.
SAN FRANCISCO – Ten Nigerian citizens have sued Chevron Corp. in federal court in San Francisco for alleged human rights violations during a protest at a Chevron oil terminal in Nigeria last year.
The lawsuit, filed Monday, claims that Nigerian police and soldiers who were paid and supported by Chevron shot and seriously injured some of the plaintiffs and killed family members of others.
The alleged attack took place during a protest on Feb. 4, 2005 at Chevron’s Escravos oil terminal on the coast of the Niger River Delta in southern Nigeria.
The plaintiffs were among more than 200 members of the Ugborodo community who were protesting Chevron’s alleged failure to provide jobs and development projects for members of the community as promised in a 2002 agreement, according to the lawsuit.
Stephen Garcia, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, said four villagers died and at least 30 others were injured during the attack by soldiers and police with rifle butts, tear gas and live ammunition.
Garcia said, ‘We will never believe this is the America that our fellow Americans want or will stand for, no matter how much we need or want the Niger Delta’s oil and gas.’
Chevron spokesman Jeff Moore said he could not comment on the allegations because officials at the San Ramon-based company had not seen the lawsuit.
Chevron is the world’s fifth-largest energy company.
The lawsuit claims the soldiers and police were acting as agents of Chevron because they were paid and supervised by the company and acting on its behalf.
The lawsuit includes claims of crimes against humanity; violation of the U.S. Torture Victim Protection Act; deprivation of life, liberty and the right of peaceful assembly; and assault and intentional infliction of emotional distress in violation of California law.
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