In Final Plea, Executed Author Urged, ‘Suffering Must Stop’
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.
“Ogoni people have suffered tremendously, and our plea is that the suffering must stop.”