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SEIU President seeks the release of jailed labor leaders in Nigeria

  Below is a letter sent by Andrew L. Stern, SEIU President to General Abacha
  on behalf of jailed Nigeria labor leaders:
  November 25, 1997
  General Sani Abacha, Chairman
  Provisional Ruling Council
  The State House
  Abuja, Federal Capital Territory
  Dear General Abacha:
  	I write on behalf of Chief Frank Ovie Kokori, a former Secretary General of
  the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) who has
  been detained without charges or trial since his arrest in August 1994 and
  Chief Milton G. Dabibi, a former General Secretary of the Petroleum and
  Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) who has been
  detained without charges or trial since his arrest in January 1996.
  	We are encouraged by press reports regarding the intention of your
  administration to release some political prisoners in Nigeria.  I urge your
  government to release all political prisoners including Kokori and Dabibi.
  The international human rights organization Amnesty International considers
  both  Kokori and Dabibi to be a prisoner of conscience, detained for
  non-violent expression of his political beliefs, in particular, his advocacy
  for the protection of trade and human rights.
  	I also call on your government to return control of NLC, NUPENG and
  PENGASSAN to their elected leaders and reverse your decision to ban the
  Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).  I further urge your government
  to repeal all decrees effecting the ability of unions to function
  independently, in particular Decrees 2, 9, 10, and 35.
  	The Service Employees International Union, representing more than 1.1
  million workers from public, healthcare, building service, office and
  industrial occupations throughout the United States and Canada, intends to
  continue our campaign on behalf of democracy in Nigeria.  We will work with
  the International Federation of Chemical, Energy, Mine and General Workers'
  Union (ICEM) to intensify its current campaign against your country's oil
  exports.  We will also work to further isolate your government and encourage
  the United States government to consider the imposition of comprehensive
  sanctions against your government.  
  Andrew L. Stern
  	Ambassador William Traddell
  	Ambassador Wakili Hassan Adamu