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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release November 9, 1995


The United States strongly condemns the decision of the Nigerian Provisional Ruling Council (PRC) to confirm the death sentences of environmental and human rights activist Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight co-defendants. These death sentences were imposed as a consequence of a gravely flawed judicial process conducted outside the traditional judicial system and without regard for due process.

We urge the Government of Nigeria not to carry out executions and commute the death sentences. We further call on the Nigerian government to ensure that the accused are afforded open and fair trials with the right of appeal in an independent judicial process consistent with international standards of due process. The United States is protesting these death sentences through diplomatic channels both in Nigeria and in Washington.

The United States reiterates its call on the Nigerian leadership to effect a swift and credible transition to a stable, civilian democracy that respects human rights.

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