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In Final Plea, Executed Author Urged, ‘Suffering Must Stop’

<i> Associated Press</i>

Here is the text of executed Nigerian playwright Ken Saro-Wiwa’s statement to the government tribunal that found him guilty of murder on Oct. 31:

“My Lord, I was adjudged guilty before I was charged. Even during the trial, I have been adjudged guilty. Fifteen months ago, government officials told [an] international forum that I was guilty.

“In the course of this trial I have been brutalized, my family almost ruined. Today is a black day for the black man; with this verdict, it has been shown that the best of the black man is no better than a criminal.

“In and out of prison, my ideas will live. I am happy this country has benefited from the ideas of MOSOP [Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People]. [Royal Dutch/Shell, the international oil consortium] has started doing what MOSOP demanded. Secondly, the matter of ethnic minority has been accepted. We in MOSOP have made wonderful contributions to the development of our fatherland.

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“Ogoni people have suffered tremendously, and our plea is that the suffering must stop.”


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