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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 10 Hansard (6 December) . . Page.. 2696 ..

Mr De Domenico: No; I think you have explained it. Do not worry about it. It is understood.

Mr Moore: You have explained what you meant, and that is noted.

MS TUCKER: All right.

Question resolved in the affirmative.


MS FOLLETT (Leader of the Opposition) (11.20): I move:

That this Assembly:

(1) condemns the Nigerian military government for its execution, after a summary trial, of Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight other Ogoni activists;

(2) calls on the ACT Government to convey the Assembly's abhorrence of this gross breach of human rights to the Nigerian High Commission; and

(3) calls on the ACT Government to advise the Assembly of the extent and nature of the Government's contractual arrangements with Shell or any Shell franchisee; and of what action the Government proposes to take against Shell, consistent with avoiding compensation claims.

This motion relates to the execution, after a summary trial that lacked any of the elements of due legal process, of the prominent Nigerian writer Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight other members of that country's Ogoni minority. The names of the other eight people are unknown to me, unfortunately, but the motion relates just as much to them and to a number of other Ogoni activists who are currently facing similar charges.

Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight of his fellow campaigners for the rights of Nigeria's impoverished Ogoni minority were hanged in a prison in the oil centre of Port Harcourt less than a month ago. I oppose the death penalty in all its forms wherever it occurs. However, by all accounts, the premeditated and deliberate death inflicted on Ken Saro-Wiwa and his companions was a particularly gruesome one. It is reported that the executions were botched and that the executioner succeeded in hanging Mr Saro-Wiwa only on his fifth attempt. All access to the graves was denied after the executions, and there are unconfirmed reports that prior to burial their bodies were disfigured with acid to prevent them from being identified.

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