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PEN CENTRES HONOUR MEMORY OF KEN SARO-WIWA

On 10 November 2005, PEN Centres in 28 countries joined free expression advocates around the world to commemorate the 10-year anniversary of the death of Ogoni leader and writer Ken Saro-Wiwa.

Saro-Wiwa and eight colleagues were executed by the Nigerian state in 1995 for campaigning and speaking out against the devastation of the Niger Delta by local and foreign oil companies.

The scheduled events included a PEN Canada evening of readings, music, theatre and dance in Toronto, Canada, that featureed Saro-Wiwa's brother, Dr. Owens Wiwa.

In London, Ken Wiwa - the eldest son of Saro-Wiwa - was one of several readers at a Ceremony of Remembrance, where a "Living Memorial" to Saro-Wiwa was unveiled.

In Switzerland, PEN Centres honoured Saro-Wiwa's memory with a series of public events, including conversations with Nigerian writer Remi Raji and Tunisian cyber-dissident Sihem Bensedrine.

Ten years after the executions of Saro-Wiwa and his eight colleagues, the exploitation of oil in the Niger Delta continues to result in deprivation, injustice and violence, says Amnesty International.

In a new report, the human rights group says that despite a return to civilian government in 1999 under President Olusegun Obasanjo, those responsible for human rights violations under military governments have not been brought to justice.

"The environmental harm to health and livelihoods that impelled the ... campaign for economic and social rights remains the reality for many inhabitants of the Delta region."

Visit:

- List of PEN Centre Events: http://www.internationalpen.org.uk/index.php?pid=33&aid=397
- Remember Saro-Wiwa: http://www.remembersarowiwa.com/
- Ken Saro-Wiwa Foundation: http://www.kensarowiwa.com/
- Amnesty International Report on the Niger Delta:
http://web.amnesty.org/pages/ec-index-eng
- Ken Wiwa Committed to Remembering: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/4421188.stm

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