Rights group marks Saro-Wiwa's death

Time of article published Nov 10, 1999

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Lagos - A Nigerian minority rights group said on Wednesday it had held a public procession to mark the execution four years ago of its leader, environmental activist Ken Saro-Wiwa.

Saro-Wiwa was hanged with eight others on November 10 1995, after being convicted of murder by a military tribunal during the regime of late military ruler General Sani Abacha.

The charges were seen as having been trumped up by the authorities to silence Saro-Wiwa, who spoke out continually against the exploitation of Ogoniland, an area that produces more than 90 percent of Nigeria's oil wealth.

On Tuesday night, the Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People, which Saro-Wiwa led before his execution, held a candlelight procession in Ogoniland in his honour.

MOSOP acting leader Ledum Mitee said in a statement that a similar procession would be held every year to honour Saro-Wiwa and those killed with him.

He said the organisation was making efforts to retrieve the bodies from the Nigerian government for reburial.

After his inauguration in May, President Olusegun Obasanjo promised to release the remains of Saro-Wiwa and his colleagues to the Ogonis.

The 1995 execution was met with international outrage and led to Nigeria's expulsion from the Commonwealth. The country was readmitted late last year after the death of Abacha. - Sapa-AFP

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