World Rainforest Movement

Nigeria: WRM “unwittingly subversive”

As a response to a fax sent by the WRM International Secretariat requesting information about Baton Mittee, Nigerian activist arrested in connection with the Ogoni Day, we received the following letter from the Embassy of Nigeria in Buenos Aires:

“Mr. Ricardo Carrere
World Rain Forest Movement

Re: Arrest of Baton Mittee in connection with Ogoni Day.

1. I am directed to acknowledge receipt of your letter dated 28th January ’98 on the above subject matter, and to inform you that its contents have been forwarded to appropriate authorities in Nigeria.

2. I am also to draw your attention to the facts that all reports of ill-treatment, torture, isolation and alledged denial of medical attention said to be meted out on detainees (of whatever kind) in Nigeria are not only baseless, but are wild allegations which cannot be substantiated, but only part of a poorly orchestrated campaign aimed at tarnishing the image of Nigeria and exposing its authorities to disrepute. For the avoidance of doubt, prison conditions in Nigeria are in consonance with acceptable international standards, and all prisoners regardless of their crime, are treated humanely.

3. Finally, you should endevour to authenticate the reports you receive from people whom you know little about, so that your organization does not unwittingly become an instrument for subversiveness.

Sincerely,

A. Yusur
for: Charge d’affaires”