Nigeria: The Ogoni trials and detentions

The murder trials of Ken Saro-Wiwa and other members of the Ogoni community are continuing. The prosecutions appear to be politically-motivated. In addition to those on trial 17 Ogoni detainees are reported to remain in prison without trial. Another 18 detainees have been held in incommunicado detention, without charge, since mid-1994. One of them, Clement Tusima, died on or around 14 August 1995 apparently after severe medical neglect. AI believes that Ken Saro-Wiwa, Ledum Mitee and Dr Barinem Kiobel are prisoners of conscience, imprisoned because of the non-violent expression of their political views, and is calling for their immediate and unconditional release. AI also believes that other defendants and detainees may also be prisoners of conscience. AI is concerned about the fairness of the trials as the defendants face a mandatory death penalty if found guilty.

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