Freedom of Expression and Human Rights in Nigeria

Whereas,        Playwright and journalist Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight other human rights campaigners have recently been executed by the Nigerian Government, without due process, in response to their peaceful activities against the degradation of the farmland of the Ogoni people by the Shell Oil Corporation and their requests for sharing oil profits with local communities; and

Whereas,        The Nigerian military government has detained Chief Moshood Abiola, the winner of the 1993 presidential elections and former Head of the State Olusegun Obassajo and other human rights activists; and

Whereas,        The people of Nigeria are denied their rights to voice peacefully their opposition to the current military regime; and

Whereas,        There is a worldwide movement calling for sanctions against the Nigerian military government; Nigeria has been suspended from the Commonwealth of Nations, the U.S. Government and the European Union have instituted an arms embargo against Nigeria; and Senator Nancy Kassebaum (R-KS) and Representative Donald Payne (D-NJ) have introduced legislation (S.1419 and H.R. 2697) to ban all new U.S. investment in Nigeria and freeze the assets of top Nigerian officials; therefore, be it

Resolved,       That the American Library Association supports comprehensive sanctions against the Government of Nigeria, because of that Government's violation of human rights and freedom of expression.

January 24, 1996

Elizabeth Martinez,
Secretary to the ALA Council