Saturday, March 24, 2007

Update on detained writer Friday John Abba

Here is an update from Dr. Wale Okediran (Association of Nigerian Authors National President) on the detained member of Kaduna ANA, Friday John Abba. I don't want to post the entire letter that Dr. Okediran posted to the Jos-ANA listserve without his permission, but here is the basic outline: On Wednesday March 21, an ANA team consisting of Dr. Okediran, as national ANA president, and officials of ANA Kaduna met with the Director of the Kaduna state SSS. The director confirmed that Friday John Abba has been in the custody of the SSS and claimed that FJA has been accused of being a part of a Niger Delta gun smuggling network. Under the auspices of "state security and terrorism," the SSS has "secured a special legal permit to keep FJA until investigations are over," meaning that he will "legally" be kept incommunicado without a public court charge until the SSS is "satisfied" with their investigation. (This sounds wretchedly like the rhetoric being used by the United States government over their bypassing of laws and abuse of suspected "terrorists.") His lawyer's application for bail was rejected. The Director of the SSS Kaduna "assured" the ANA representatives "that FJA is in good conditions and is not being tortured in any way." The ANA request to see and speak with FJA was "turned down" and they were told they would need to "formally apply for this through the National SSS Director in Abuja." ANA members as well as PEN Nigeria, and International, currently await for further updates on the situation.

For the original press release about FJA's arrest and the following discussion see here.


Fred said...

It may sound like the US is doing the same thing, C., but it's not: even the so-called terrorists have access to lawyers; this nonsense about being held incommunicado is a bucket of crap.

The Brits do that all the time, hold people incommunicado without charge and it seems their colonials have picked up on that legal system as well.

This is what happens when Government determines what we can do and not vice versa. Shameful practice.

Talatu-Carmen said...

fred, if i were more energetic right now I'd light into you with facts and figures on Guantanimo Bay, the records of "extraordinary rendition"; the Maher Arar case, etc. But, I know that my arguing with you is pretty much a waste of time, since you think Ann Coulter and co. are more reliable reporters of news than a Canadian government commission inquiry, Amnesty International, and any number of other news sources....

etc. etc. etc. etc.

Fred said...

At the very least, they're not holding anyone without representation and incommunicado. That much is fact. Coulter is not a reporter, I don't believe she's ever said she was. As for the Canadians and AI, bollocks to them all, socialist malcontents. ;-)

Remember that the people in Guantanamo were captured in mufti on a battlefield not in a criminal investigation. Very different set of circumstances than your man FJA.

Talatu-Carmen said...

like i said, i'm not going to bother to argue with you because you already seemed quite convinced of what you believe. but even you must see how lame you sound.

1) I don't accept that prisoners of war are ultimately that much different from people kidnapped by the police.

2) I don't see how you can make any excuses for the Maher case. He was kidnapped at the airport, was held incommunicado for at least four days (when they allowed him a two minute phone call to his mother-in-law) and then again for about a year. He saw the Canadian consul in Syria after about a month in a half, but he was tortured continuously for several months. I don't see how you can maintain any moral high ground at all on that situation.

Fred said...

Well, there's your problem right there: you think there's no distinction between prisoners of war (which, by the way, the Guantanamo detainees are most certainly not) and (Nigerian) police detainees. There is a whole world of difference and are covered under different aspects of The Law, such as it is.

However, you and I both agree, it is wrong to hold people suspected of a crime incommunicado--especially with his lawyer, as your man is.

You keep saying you don't want to argue but you are! :-)

And please, no ad hominems, it doesn't suit you. Actually, hell, I don't know you. It may suit you! ;-)