What's at Stake in the Kiobel case

The Kiobel case will affect not only the plaintiffs in that case, but the plaintiffs in all future and ongoing cases brought against corporations under the Alien Tort Statute for participating in human rights abuses. Below are just a few of the people who have suffered or even lost their lives at the hands of multi-national corporations, and who have sought or are seeking justice under the ATS. It is their lives and dignity that are at stake in the Kiobel case.


Ken Saro-Wiwa & the Ogoni 9, Nigeria

Hanged after a sham military trial based on fabricated charges, along with seven other Nigerian activists, for his opposition to human rights violations and environmental destruction by Shell, Saro-Wiwa is survived by his family, who has fled to the United States. They have brought charges against the oil company and its subsidiary, which colluded with Nigeria's military government to bring about the arrest and execution of Saro-Wiwa, giving money and weapons to the Nigerian government to crush the protest movement and by bribing witnesses to give false testimony.


Jane Doe 2, Colombia

Involved in a range of civic and social activities in Colombia, Jane Doe 2 indicated that she was afraid she would be killed for her activities. Approximately one week later, Colombian paramilitaries arrived at Jane Doe 2’s house and executed her in front of her family. Subsequently, the family of Jane Doe 2, including Jane Doe 1, fled their community in fear. They are currently seeking justice against Chiquita for supporting the Colombian paramilitaries, which has been designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organization by the U.S. government.


Jane Doe 1, Burma

After her husband fled forced labor for American oil company Unocal, Jane Doe was brutally beaten and her infant child was kicked into a cooking fire. Following the loss of her husband and child, Jane sought justice in the United States. Doe v. Unocal was the first ATS case against a corporation to provide justice to human rights victims and survivors.