UN to Plead for 54 Convicted soldiers

The United Nations has disclosed plans to take appropriate action over the imminent execution of 54 soldiers sentenced to death by the Nigerian Army.

In a letter to the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, SERAP, Christof Heyns, UN Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial Summary or Arbitrary Executions, stated that the UN is considering appropriate action, including communication to the government of President Goodluck Jonathan, in respect of the death sentence passed on the 54 soldiers.

A General Court-Martial set up by the Army authorities had on December 17 sentenced the 54 soldiers to death by firing squad for alleged offences of mutiny and conspiracy.

In a petition dated December 23 and addressed to a group of five UN special human rights rapporteurs and Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, SERAP described the mass death sentences on the soldiers as “unjust and incompatible with fundamental human rights.”

The group had urged the rapporteurs to use their offices and positions to prevail on the Federal Government and the Army authorities not to carry out the mass death sentences imposed on the 54 soldiers.

In a statement issued on Sunday by Adetokunbo Mumuni, its Executive Director, SERAP expressed satisfaction over the decision of the UN to intervene in the execution of the soldiers.

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