Today, November 10th, marks the fourth anniversary of the execution of Ken Saro Wiwa and eight other Ogoni activists, who were hanged in 1995 by the Nigerian military. The men were protesting the environmental devastation caused by Royal Dutch Shell in the Ogoniland region of Nigeria, and the multinational oil giant’s involvement in the human rights abuses of Nigeria’s brutal military regime under Sani Abacha. Human rights advocates around the world criticized Shell Oil for failing to come to aid of the nine activists in an attempt to save their lives.
Human rights and environmental organizations around the world are holding demonstrations today commemorating the life and deaths of Saro Wiwa and the other Ogoni activists. In Washington, DC, there will be a rally and a memorial procession in front of Shell Oil’s headquarters, in San Francisco there will be a similar rally, and Vancouver activists will also remember Saro Wiwa as they enter the fifth year of their boycott against Shell.
- Ken Saro Wiwa, Interviewed in 1994 by Amy Goodman and Bernard White of Pacifica Radio’s WBAI.
- Hafsat Abiola is a 24-year-old human rights and democracy organizer.
Her father, Moshood, won Nigeria’s presidential election in 1993 but served out his term in solitary confinement, imprisoned by the military regime. He died in prison on the eve of his release. She established the Kudirat Institute for Democracy, which promotes the development of women and youth. She is also co-founder of the International African Students Association.