UNDERSTANDING CORPORATE COMPLICITY: EXTENDING THE NOTION BEYOND EXISTING LAWS
IRENE KHAN, SECRETARY-GENERAL, AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL
BUSINESS HUMAN RIGHTS SEMINAR, LONDON, DEC 8, 2005.
On April 27 this year, Shi Tao, a Chinese journalist, received a ten-year prison term for sending information about a Communist Party decision to a website in the US, using his Yahoo email account. On June 2, Shi’s appeal was denied.
In the eyes of Amnesty International, Shi is a prisoner of conscience. He was imprisoned solely for exercising peacefully his legitimate right to seek, receive and impart information. According to court transcripts of the evidence presented by the prosecutor that led to Shi’s conviction, his Yahoo account-holder information was provided to the authorities by Yahoo! Hong Kong , including confirming the internet protocol address at a precise time in April.
On 4 February 2005, soldiers from the Nigerian Joint Task Force fired on protesters from Ugborodo, a small community of the Itsekiri ethnic group, who had entered Chevron Nigeria’s Escravos oil terminal on the Delta State coast. One demonstrator was shot and later died from his injuries, and at least 30 others were injured, some of them seriously, by blows from rifle butts and other weapons. Chevron Nigeria, which operates the terminal, said that 11 employees and security officers received minor injuries. The industry-strength boundary fence was cut in five places, and windows and helicopter windscreens were smashed. It was several hours before the injured protesters could reach a hospital, a lengthy boat journey away. Neither the security forces nor Chevron Nigeria provided adequate medical care or assistance to transport the injured.
The protest was over a Memorandum of Understanding signed by Ugborodo community representatives and Chevron Nigeria in 2002. The protesters said that Chevron Nigeria had not provided the jobs and development projects they were promised. The company...