ExxonMobil Pays Torturers

Update: The Supreme Court has ruled that foreign plaintiffs in most cases do not have standing to sue U.S. corporations over human-rights violations in American courts. The decision (PDF) came in a case, Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum, involving allegations that Shell was complicit in human-rights abuses in Nigeria. It is expected that other companies will move for dismissal of similar suits over human-rights violations overseas, including the Exxon case we investigate in this story.

In the summer of 2000, soldiers detained him while he was visiting a refugee camp. They shot him “in three places on his leg,” then “tortured him for several hours.” The soldiers “broke his kneecap, smashed his skull, and burned him with cigarettes.” After he was taken to a hospital to treat his wounds, he was returned to this captors, who held him for roughly a month and “tortured him regularly.” This was the Aceh Province, Sumatra, Indonesia, at the height of a bloody civil war. Such accounts were common…