UN To Meet Jonathan Over Convicted Soldiers

Convicted-Soldiers-360x225The United Nations has lent it's voice to Nigerians pleading mercy for 54 soldiers which military authorities passed death sentences on last December. In a letter to the rights and accountability watchers, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, SERAP, the UN Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial Summary or Arbitrary Executions, Christof Heyns, promised to take “Appropriate action, including communication to the government of President Goodluck Jonathan," on the fate awaiting the soldiers.
The soldiers were among others charged by a special military court for cowardice, unruly conducts and mutiny. The interventionist move for the convicted soldiers was begun by SERAP through its petition a group of five UN special human rights rapporteurs. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, described the sentences on the soldiers as “unjust and incompatible with fundamental human rights.”
Executive Director, SERAP, Adetokunbo Mumuni, on Sunday, expressed the organisation's delight over the decision of the UN to intervene on behalf of the convicted soldiers.
“Given his long standing human rights commitment and achievements, we have absolutely no doubt that Mr. Heyns will work assiduously to ensure that justice is done in this matter and we wish him well as he strives to do that,” Mumuni stated.
SERAP called “The General Court-Martial, held in secret" as "a mockery of justice." It said the military court "ignored issues raised by the condemned men that suggest lack of transparency, accountability and general deficiencies in the handling of the security budget and arms purchases.”
It added that “The UN has also acknowledged the discriminatory and arbitrary nature of judicial processes and the danger of the death penalty being used as a tool of repression. It has documented evidence to show that the death penalty is no deterrent, stressing that ‘depriving a human person of his or her life is incompatible with the trend in the 21st Century.”

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