• Research

Nigeria: A travesty of justice: secret trials and other concerns

, Index number: AFR 44/023/1995

About 43 prisoners have been convicted of treason and related offences after secret and unfair trials in Nigeria. AI believes most of them to be prisoners of conscience. Coup plotting appears to have been fabricated as a pretext to imprison key political opponents of the government, in particular General Olusegen Obasanjo and Major-General Shehu Musa Yar'Adua. The real reason for their conviction appears to have been their non-violent pro-democracy activities. Friends and relatives of the defendants, as well as journalists and human rights activists who have exposed the injustices of these arrests and trials, have themselves been arrested and convicted. They include Dr Beko Ransome-Kuti, Chariman of the Campaign for Democracy. Other prisoners of conscience who remain in prison in Nigeria include Moshood Abiola and Ken Saro-Wiwa. There have also been more than 180 executions since the present military government came to power.

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