ShellNews.net: CENSORSHIP OF DR JOHN HUONG BY ROYAL DUTCH SHELL: Wednesday 14 September 2005 10:30 AM EDT
I would like to inform readers of the
article posted by the Malaysian humanitarian, Dr John Huong, on Tell Shell
yesterday, 13 September 2005, that he is unable to exercise his fundamental
right to freedom of speech.
This is because EIGHT companies within the Royal Dutch Shell Group (listed below) collectively obtained a High Court Restraining Order and Injunction against him which is in force, and will remain so for several years pending an appeal, unless withdrawn by Shell. He has been threatened with imprisonment by Shell in the event of any breach by him of the High Court Orders.
The restrained comments of geologist/whistleblower, Dr Huong, a former employee of Shell for almost 30 years, should be read in that light.
The following are extracts from the relevant Court Order: -
1. The Defendant, by himself, his servants or agents or otherwise howsoever, be restrained from publishing or causing to be published on the internet website "Shell Whistleblower No 2" any statements articles, correspondence and any other publications whatsoever, concerning the Plaintiffs and/or "Shell Management" and/or the Plaintiffs' Management Officers and/or the Plaintiffs' servants or agents, alleging that they or each of them are liars, cheats, dishonest, corrupted and practised deception and conspiracy, criminal conduct and were generally evil, and/or statements to similar effect, pending the trial of this action or further Order
2. The Defendant, by himself, his servants or agents or otherwise howsoever, be restrained from publishing or causing to be published any article, material, correspondence, circulars in any form whatsoever, containing allegations that the Plaintiffs and/or "Shell Malaysia" and/or the Plaintiffs' servants or agents are liars, cheats, dishonest, corrupted and practised deception and conspiracy and criminal conduct and were generally evil, and/or statements to similar effect, pending the trial of this action or further order.
3 The Defendant, do forthwith, take all necessary steps to give notice or cause due notice to be given to the person or persons maintaining the website "Shell Whistleblower No 2" that all existing postings made by the Defendant on 10th, 13* and 16th June 2004, be deleted and/or removed from the website.
END OF EXTRACTS
The website referred to as “Shell Whistleblower No 2” is in fact the ShellNews.net site founded by my 88 year old father, Alfred Donovan. (Due to an incredible blunder by Shell management, he is also the unchallenged owner and operator of the dotcom domain name for Royal Dutch Shell PLC: royaldutchshellplc.com)
Shell management pretends that my fathers website is called “Shell Whistleblower No 2”, because it evidently prefers to sue a Malaysian national rather than a British national, even though it was my father, not Dr Huong, who actually published the well-founded comments which led to the lawsuit. The offending material remains posted on the ShellNews.net website which is hosted outside the legal jurisdiction of Court which issued the Restraining Order/Injunction
The following extracts from the revised STATEMENT OF GENERAL BUSINESS PRINCIPLES (SGBP) published by Royal Dutch Shell Plc in August 2005 – a document which bears the signature of Shell Chief Executive Officer, Jeroen van der Veer – are material to the situation of Dr Huong.
“Shell employees share a set of core values – honesty, integrity and respect for people. We also firmly believe in the fundamental importance of trust, openness, teamwork and professionalism, and pride in what we do.”
“c. To employees”
“To respect the human rights of our employees and to provide them with good and safe working conditions…”
END OF EXTRACTS FROM ROYAL DUTCH SHELL PLC SGBP
Shell’s draconian legal action against Dr Huong completely undermines some of the lofty commitments quoted above. It does not suggest a multinational committed to “openness”, “respect for people” and respect for human rights. Perhaps Shell takes the view that such pious pledges do not apply to former Shell employees.
I am personally aware of a number of former Shell British employees who contribute highly informative articles to the Tell Shell forum drawing on their inside knowledge of Shell. Royal Dutch Shell stated in a legal document in May of this year that it recognises my father’s right to publish his views about Shell on his website. Yet a Malaysian national is denied his freedom of speech to air his views on the same website. What could be the reason for the inconsistency?
It is interesting to note that the person signing the SGBP – Mr Van der Veer, has admitted his shame at the reserves scandal, is a Defendant in a related US Class Action lawsuit alleging securities fraud and signed a Form 20F Declaration submitted to the US Securities & Exchange Commission which contained materially false information. These are all matters of fact. Would you buy a second hand car from this gentleman? Personally I would much prefer to trust the word of Dr Huong. He has a better track record of having a conscience in respect of Shell shareholder/stakeholder interests.
For further information, I strongly recommend the following article, “Forbidden Words of a Shell Whistleblower Dr John Huong”, published on ShellNews.net on Friday 9 Sept 2005.
Extracts from the High Court Order obtained by Royal Dutch Shell companies.
(CIVIL DIVISION) SUIT NO. S2-23-41-2O04
1. SARAWAK SHELL BHD (71978-W)
2. SHELL MALAYSIA TRADING SENDIRIAN BERHAD (6078-M)
3 SHELL REFINING COMPANY (FEDERATION OF MALAYA) BHD (3926-U)
4. SHELL T1MUR SDN BHD (1133Q4-H)
5. SHELL EXPLORATION AND/RODUCTION MALAYSIA B.V. (993963-V)
6. SHELL OIL AND GAS (MALAYSIA) LLC (993830-X)
7. SHELL SABAH SELATAN SDN BHD (228504-T)
8. SABAH SHELL PETROLEUM COMPANY LTD (993229-W) PLAINTIFFS
HUONG YIU TUONG DEFENDANT
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