back to corporations | rat haus | Index | Search

A year is gone since I was rudely roused from my bed and clamped into detention. Sixty-five days in chains, many weeks of starvation, months of mental torture and recently, the rides in a steaming, airless, Black Maria to appear before a kangaroo court dubbed a Special Military Tribunal, where the proceedings leave no doubt at all that the judgment has been written in advance. And a sentence of death against which there is no appeal is a certainty.

Fearful odds? Hardly. The men who ordain and supervise this show of shame, this tragic charade, are frightened by the Word, the power of ideas, the power of the pen; by the demands of social justice and the rights of man. Nor do they have a sense of history. They are so scared of the power of the Word that they do not read. And that is their funeral.

When, after years of writing, I decided to take the Word to the streets to mobilize the Ogoni people and empower them to protest the devastation of their environment by Shell and their denigration and dehumanization by Nigeria's military dictators, I had no doubt where it could end.

This knowledge has given me strength, courage and cheer and given me psychological advantage over my enemies...

Whether I live or die is immaterial. It is enough to know that there are people who commit time, money, and energy to fight this one evil among so many others predominating worldwide. If they do not succeed today, they will succeed tomorrow. We must keep on striving to make the world a better place for all mankind. Each one contributing his bit, in his or her own way. I salute you all.

Ken Saro-Wiwa