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Written Answers. - Nigerian Human Rights Activists.

Wednesday, 28 February 1996

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 462 No. 3

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 40. Mr. D. McDowell Information on Derek McDowell Zoom on Derek McDowell  asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs Information on Dick Spring Zoom on Dick Spring  if his attention has been drawn to reports that three human rights activists (details supplied) have been detained by the Nigerian authorities; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4569/96]

Tánaiste and Minister for Foreign Affairs (Mr. Spring): Information on Dick Spring Zoom on Dick Spring I am aware of the reports to which the Deputy refers. They add to the Government's serious concern about human rights abuses in Nigeria. We are monitoring the situation closely with our EU partners and maintaining strong pressure on the Nigerian authorities to take specific steps towards an early transition to democracy and to ensure full respect for human rights and the rule of law.

[756] The EU has already adopted common positions on 20 November 1995 and 4 December 1995 which imposed a series of measures against Nigeria including visa restrictions on the military regime, a sports embargo and the suspension of development co-operation and high level visits. Specific provision has been made for review of the common positions, including possible further measures if considered necessary in the light of developments in Nigeria. Incidents such as those referred to by the Deputy will be taken into account by the Government in further discussion with partners in the context of this review.

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