Exxon Mobil Faces Lawsuit

A human rights group has filed suit against Exxon Mobil Corp., accusing the world's largest oil company of rights abuses in Indonesia, but the company denied the allegations.

The International Labor Rights Fund filed the suit in federal court, alleging that ExxonMobil knowingly committed human rights violations against villagers in Indonesia that were committed by local security forces hired to protect its natural gas fields.

According to the suit, ExxonMobil hired the forces to protect its gas fields in the province of Aceh, where separatists have been seeking independence for decades. The company blamed security incidents for its March decision to close three fields there.

The oil conglomerate vehemently rejected the charges and said it condemned human rights abuses in any form. "Our company rejects and categorically denies any suggestion or implication that it or its affiliate companies were in any way involved with alleged human rights abuses by security forces in Aceh," ExxonMobil said in a statement.

The lawsuit follows similar legal action against oil companies including Unocal Inc. and the Royal/Dutch Shell Group for alleged human rights abuses in the developing world.

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