The Memo that Condemned Saro-Wiwa to Die


Copy of a memo drafted by the Provisional Ruling Council (PRC) of General Sani Abacha’s regime, which confirmed the death sentence on Ken Saro-Wiwa and other Ogoni activists in 1995. Highlights of the memo:

*Abacha said “no sympathy should be shown” to the condemned men, and the executions “would be a lesson for everybody”.

*The PRC admitted Ogoni grievances caused by previous government’s failure to bring development to the Ogoni area.

*Saro-Wiwa was described as “a separatist” masquerading as an environmentalist.

*The PRC overruled the concerns of one of its members who urged the government to delay the executions until after Abacha’s return from the Commonwealth Conference in Auckland, New Zealand. Ultimately Saro-Wiwa and the others were executed by hanging, while the Commonwealth Conference took place.


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