September 25, 2019, New York – In response to news that human rights activist Patrick Naagbanton has been killed by a car in Port Harcourt, Nigeria, the Center for Constitutional Rights issued the following statement:
We are devastated to learn of the death of Patrick Naagbanton, a tireless and courageous champion of human rights and environmental justice. Patrick played an invaluable role throughout the 13-year-long legal battle of Wiwa v. Royal Dutch Petroleum, which sought justice on behalf of human rights defenders who were imprisoned, tortured, and killed because of their vocal opposition to Royal Dutch/Shell’s devastation of Ogoni. The lawsuit, which alleged Royal Dutch/Shell’s complicity in these human rights violations, was settled in 2009. This pursuit of justice and accountability, which could not have happened without Patrick’s dedication and brilliance, was just one piece of his life’s work investigating, exposing, and advocating against violations of human rights and environmental destruction in the Niger Delta. We will sorely miss Patrick and the unparalleled passion, principle, and sense of humor he brought to extremely difficult work, but his spirit and power will live on through all the lives he touched around the world. We echo the call by Amnesty International for a full investigation into Patrick’s death.
The Center for Constitutional Rights works with communities under threat to fight for justice and liberation through litigation, advocacy, and strategic communications. Since 1966, the Center for Constitutional Rights has taken on oppressive systems of power, including structural racism, gender oppression, economic inequity, and governmental overreach. Learn more at ccrjustice.org.