Swedish company Lundin Petroleum is facing ongoing police investigation for violations of international law, including participating in crimes against humanity, in relation to the company’s operations in southern Sudan between 1997 and 2003. In response, the company has publicly denied the charges, denied responsibility, and raised accusations against NGOs and journalists who reported the company’s conduct.

Researchers Schoultza and Flyghed have analysed Lundin Petroleum’s communications to determine the evolution of public-facing ‘neutralisation techniques’ (in this context, “corporate framings employed to deal with allegations of crime”), showing how the company increasingly attempted to distort public perception of the case through accusations against human rights defenders. They conclude that: “Lundin Petroleum’s strategy has not involved any substantial change over time. At the same time, however, the frequency and intensity of the use of neutralizations has increased, primarily in the form of condemnations of the condemner.”

Read more on this case in Schoultza and Flyghed‘s article.

More sources on the case:

European Coalition on Oil in Sudan (ECOS) Unpaid Debt report.

Miriam Ingeson and Alexandra Lily Kather, ‘The Road Less Traveled: How Corporate Directors Could be Held Individually Liable in Sweden for Corporate Atrocity Crimes Abroad’.

Financial Times article.