Widows of four of the nine men executed by Nigeria’s military regime in 1995 have a filed a civil lawsuit in The Hague, Netherlands, accusing Royal Dutch Shell of alleged complicity in a military crackdown.
The deaths of the men – known as the Ogoni nine – provoked an international outcry.
The lawsuit accuses the oil giant of providing support to the military, which ultimately led to the execution of the men
The best known of whom was Ken Saro-Wiwa. He led huge protests against the widespread environmental damage caused by oil production in the Niger Delta.
The widows, supported by Amnesty International, have brought this civil case demanding an apology and unspecified compensation.
Shell, the largest oil producer in Nigeria, has repeatedly denied any involvement in the executions.
In a statement the oil giant said it did not collude with the authorities to suppress unrest and in no way encouraged or advocated any act of violence in Nigeria.
The oil giant has faced multiple lawsuits in various countries relating to the executions.
Eight years ago, it agreed to an out of court settlement in the US to pay more than $15m (£12m) to a group of the men’s relatives.