215/98 Rights International / Nigeria Summary of Facts 1.The Complainant is an NGO based in the United States. 2.The Complainant alleges that Mr Charles Baridorn Wiwa a Nigerian student in Chicago was arrested and tortured at a Nigerian military detention camp in Gokana. 3. The Complainant alleges that Mr Wiwa was arrested on 3rd January 1996 by unknown armed soldiers in the presence of his mother and other members of his family. 4. It is alleged that Mr Wiwa remained in the said military detention camp from 2-9th January 1996. 5. While in detention, Mr Wiwa was horsewhipped and placed in a cell with forty-five other detainees. 6. After Mr Wiwa was identified as a relative of Mr Ken Saro-Wiwa, he was subjected to various forms of torture. 7. Enclosed in the communication is medical evidence of Mr Wiwa's physical torture. 8. After 5 days in the detention camp in Gokana, Mr Wiwa was transferred to the State Intelligence Bureau (SIB) in Port Harcourt. 9. Mr Wiwa was held from 9-11th January 1996, without access to a legal counsel or relatives, except for a five minutes discussion with his grandfather. 10. Mr Wiwa, it is alleged, was not informed of the charges against him nor was he provided with an explanation for his prolonged detention until 11th January 1996. 11. On 9th January 1996, Mr Wiwa was finally allowed to prepare a statement in his own defence but without a legal counsel, and he did not know what to write. 12. On 11th January 1996, Mr Wiwa and 21 other Ogonis were brought before the Magistrate Court 2 in Port-Harcourt, charged with unlawful assembly in violation of Section 70 of the Criminal Code Laws of Eastern Nigeria, 1963. 13. The charging instrument states that Mr Wiwa participated in the said unlawful assembly on 4th January 1996, which happens to be a day after he was arrested. 14. Mr Wiwa was however granted bail. 15. While Mr Wiwa was out on bail some unknown people believed to be Government agents abducted him and threatened his life by forcing him into a car in Port-Harcourt. 16. On the advice of Human Rights Lawyers, Mr Wiwa fled Nigeria on 18th March 1996 to Cotonou, Republic of Benin, where the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees declared him a refugee. 17. On September 17th 1996, the US Government granted him refugee status and he has been residing in the United States since then. Complaint 18. The Complainant alleges that the following articles of the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights have been violated: Articles 5, 6, 7(1)(c) and 12(1) and (2). Procedure 19. The communication is dated 17th February 1998 and was received at the Secretariat on 19th March 1998. 20. At its 23rd Ordinary Session held in Banjul, The Gambia, from 20-29th April 1998, the Commission decided to be seized of this communication and to notify the state concerned to send its comments on admissibility. 21. At its 24th Ordinary Session held in Banjul, The Gambia from 22nd to 31st October 1998, the Commission declared the communication admissible and invited submissions on the merits of the case during the 25th Ordinary Session. The Commission also requested the Secretariat to study this Communication and communication No. 205/97 with a view to consolidating them. 1

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