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The civilian Dictatorship?

Information event on the human rights situation in Nigeria with Kayode Oladele (Detroit/USA)

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The human rights situation in Nigeria is alarming: the current extreme extent of violence in the West African country almost equals the situation at the times of the military dictatorship. The German public however has hardly any knowledge on that.

After the current president Olusegun Obasanjo had taken over the government after the military dictatorships of Abacha in 1998 and Abdulsalami in 1999, the European public expected changes towards democracy to take place.

Non-governmental organisations, oil multinationals and governments for a long time gave Obasanjo unlimited support. Even when a short period after the change of government it could be noticed that the political style of leadership and the way to deal with the country's ethnic conflicts was hardly differing from that of the dictatorial predecessors, public perception of this was very low. Until today representatives of unions and minority organisations are being drastically persecuted. The continued persecution of opposition members including politically motivated and extra-judicial killings under the present regime is ubiquitous.

This situation in Nigeria which is characterised by violence and the violation of human rights is negatively mirrored by a rigorous policy of rejecting asylum applications of Nigerian refugees in Germany. On the one hand, the German Foreign Office on its website warns German tourists not to travel to Nigeria, on the other hand according to German authorities and many courts Nigerian asylum seekers who are forced to return, are in no danger whatsoever.

Against this background the Caravan for the Rights of Refugees and Migrants holds an information evening with the renowned Nigerian lawyer Kayode Oladele. Oladele was recognised as a political refugee in the United States and has lived and worked as a lawyer in Detroit for some years. Before his flight from Nigeria he was an active member of the Alliance for Democracy working against the military regime. In addition he was a co-founder of the Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC), one of today's biggest Nigerian opposition movements.

As a lawyer practising in the US he meanwhile won numerous court cases against former military rulers which resulted in many victims of human rights violations receiving compensation and the revelation of illegal bank accounts abroad.

· At the conference, Kayode Oladele will report on the development of the human rights situation since the civil government under Olusegun Obasanjo took power.
· In addition, the Bremen lawyer Günter Werner will inform about the daily practice of asylum cases of Nigerian refugees and the evaluation of the Nigerian human rights situation by German authorities and courts.
· The Nigerian refugee Babatope Moses Bodunde who lives in Bremen and is an active member of the Caravan for the Rights of Refugees and Migrants, will speak about his political activities in Nigeria's democratic movement and inform about the circumstances that made him leave his home country.

Wednesday, Sep 15th, 2004, 19.00 h
Forum Kirche, Hollerallee 75

Karawane für die Rechte der Flüchtlinge und MigrantInnen
c/o Veranstaltungszentrum "Paradox"
Bernhardstr. 12 · 28203 Bremen
Karawane_Bremen at ·
Evangelisches Bildungswerk Bremen
Verein Ökumenischer Ausländerarbeit Bremen (VAÖ)
Afrika-FreundInnen Bremen e.V.