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MEDIA RELEASE - Thursday, 21 August 97


At 12.15 PM today protesters against Shell will picket the "Clean Air 2000" conference at the Gazebo Hotel, 350 Church St, Parramatta.

The CEO of Shell Australia, Roland Williams, will today deliver a lunch time speech to the NRMA's "Clean-Air 2000" conference in what Friends of the Earth have described as "a total double-standard of monstrous proportions".

Shell, recently recognised as the most profitable corporation in the world, has been condemned by numerous human rights and environmental organisations for their oil operations in Nigeria's Niger River Delta. Shell is in business partnership with the brutal Nigerian military dictatorship. The oil industry's activities have caused massive air and water pollution in the delta region, as acknowledged by Shell's former chief environmental officer, Mr. Bopp Van Dessel.

"Roland William's speech clearly reveals Shell's appalling double standard - while he makes pronouncements about clean-air in Australia, he ignores the ecological catastrophe caused in Ogoniland, Nigeria", spokesperson for Friends of the Earth's Ogoni Freedom Campaign, Greg Archer, said today. "The oil spills and burn offs, the numerous gas-flares and burst oil pipes all squarely contradict the image Shell is trying to promote through the Clean-Air 2000 forum."

"What qualifications does Shell have to talk about 'the community working with business and government'? In Nigeria, communities and villages are being destroyed! Since 1990, 2000 Ogoni people have been callously murdered, including community leaders of the Ogoni people, notably respected writer Ken Saro-Wiwa. Nineteen Ogoni people remain on trial on the same baseless charges and face a similar fate", Mr. Archer concluded. Shell continues business with the military dictatorship.

For more details & comments please call:

Greg Archer - 017 913 918

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