Dáil Éireann - Volume 447 - 24 January, 1995
Written Answers. - Persecution of Ogoni People.
Mr. E. Byrne Mr. E. Byrne
 47. Mr. E. Byrne asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs if his attention has been drawn to the ongoing persecution by the Nigerian authorities of the Ogoni people; if his attention has further been drawn to the fact that one of the leaders of the Ogoni, Ken Saro-Wiro, is currently on trial for his life; if he has made representations regarding this matter to the Nigerian ambassador; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1437/95]
Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs (Mr. Spring) Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs (Mr. Spring)
Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs (Mr. Spring): Ireland, with its partners in the EU, has expressed its serious concern to the Nigerian authorities at reports that the Nigerian security forces were involved in attacks on civilians and their property in the Ogoni region which took place last summer.
In response to denial by the Nigerian authorities of security force involvement in these attacks, Ireland fully supported and participated in a European Union fact-finding mission to the region which took place in November. The mission, which spoke to many people there, saw evidence of considerable destruction, with houses and schools in some Ogoni villages either partially or completely demolished. The level of destruction which the mission saw would appear to confirm security force involvement at some level.
I have also been following closely the case of Ogoni leader Ken Saro-Wiro and his associates. At Ireland's instigation, and following our expressions of concern regarding the conduct of this case, the EU will shortly be making representations to the Nigerian authorities at the highest possible level on the need for the restoration of democratic rule and on human rights violations in Nigeria including the case of Mr. Saro-Wiro
In order to highlight further EU concerns about the case of Mr. Saro-Wiro, his trial will be attended and monitored by representatives of the EU. I understand that the trial, which was scheduled  to begin on 16 January, has been adjourned until the first week in February.
Dáil Éireann 447 Written Answers. Persecution of Ogoni People.