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Nnimmo is Free - for now.

  Dear all,
  Nnimmo Bassey is at home, although he does not enjoy freedom movement.  He
  is still required to check in regularly with the Police.  I believe it is
  still worth writing a letter, if you haven't already.  Nnimmo remains at
  risk as long as he is politically active in Nigeria.
  Thanks to all of you who've written letters and distributed this so far and
  wide in the last 24 hours.  I've attached, for your information, an excerpt
  from an interview that British journalist Andy Rowell conducted with Nnimmo
  last week in Quito. 
  Steve Kretzmann
  ROWELL: You were arrested last year. Can you tell me about that?
  BASSEY: It is one of those conveniences that activists have to go through in
  Nigeria. One thing that it showed me was that international solidarity is
  very important for the survival of activists in situations such as in
  Nigeria, because right from the very day I got arrested virtually the whole
  world was aware of what was going on and actions had already started for my
  release. Therefore the 42 days I spent in jail went very fast because I knew
  that there a lot of solidarity out there. I was receiving visits from
  activists from various places. But the trauma of it all is still there. I
  was locked up in a place designed for twelve people and I was number 87, and
  at times we were up to 100. The best thing you could do was to not get sick,
  because if you got sick, unless you were almost dead, you would not get any
  medical treatment. You just try your best to condition your mind to stay
  there and come out of the place. I found it a useful time to talk to a lot
  of people, to sensitise a lot of people in detention and help them overcome
  the pains of being there. It was also good to work for the release of people
  in there. 
  It helped to also show how fragile our freedom is in Nigeria - no one is
  really free - you are only free in installments. Most of the time is like
  being in prison, because most of us cannot move about freely on the streets.
  You can never move alone, for instance. The security network is so vicious,
  that they keep sending signals that they are looking for you, we are coming
  to get there. It is like a war of attrition. Whilst I was in detention,
  there were over 100 of us, and they would send food
  that would not feed 5 people, and that would be sent to feed all the people
  in the cell. You cannot claim many human rights privileges in a human rights
  prison, but to feed 100 on the food for five is criminal.  If you don't have
  the means of getting food from the outside, you are bound to die after a
  short while in detention. This is why many people come of detention as just
  bones, because it is a place of starvation. No water  and the toilet
  facilities are so bad. In fact during the time I
  was there, we were luckily able to maintain a well, we had half a bucket of
  water a day, that was great - there are a lot of prisons in Nigeria have no
  water at all.
  For many days I wasn't accused of anything. I was taken by the SSS, before
  being handed over to the Police - they just asked general questions. I think
  I was taken in for two reasons. One for being an environmental rights
  activists and, two, for being a writer, because I am secretary for the
  Society of Nigerian Authors. We had just issued a statement saying that
  Ken's case should be reopened, and that if he was found to be not guilty,
  those who had killed him should face trial themselves. They did not like
  that at all and that is still our position. No matter how long it takes
  those that killed Ken have to be brought to justice, they have to face
  trial. This question kept coming up during my questioning - and so I knew
  where they were coming from and they accused me of anti-government
  activities -you can accuse anyone of that. In Nigeria, the tragedy is no
  matter how silly the charge looks like, it could send you to the firing squad. 
  Steve Kretzmann			510-705-8982 - office
  Campaigns Coordinator		510-705-8983 - fax
  Project Underground
  Exposing corporate environmental & human rights abuses
  Supporting communities threatened by the mining and oil industries
  1847 Berkeley Way			http://www.moles.org
  Berkeley, CA, 94703, USA