The European Union, EU, has criticized the death sentence handed to 12 Nigerian soldiers by the General Court Martial in Nigeria for alleged mutiny.
The EU on the occasion of the World Day Against Death Penalty expressed complete disapproval at death sentences especially after mass trials as it was the case with the Nigerian soldiers.
EU Secretary-General Thorbjørn Jagland noted that execution had stopped in Europe for about two decades.
Jagland stated that the European Union and the Council of Europe reiterated their resilient and absolute opposition to capital punishment in all cases and under all circumstances, saying that it should be abolished worldwide.
“We are deeply concerned about setbacks in some countries, such as recent mass trials leading to a vast number of death sentences. No execution has taken place in our member states in the last 17 years,” he said.
“The European Union and the Council of Europe welcome the fact that all Member States of the European Union have now ratified both Protocols 6 and 13 to the European Convention on Human Rights, and urge all other European States that have not yet done so to sign and ratify these instruments which aim at the abolition of the death penalty,” he further said.
The 12 soldiers were tried for allegedly refusing to fight the Boko Haram terrorists in the northeastern part of the country for shooting at their commanding officer at a parade.
It will recalled that after sentencing 12 soldiers to death for allege mutiny, the Nigerian army authorities also court-martialed 97 officers and men for a similar offence last Thursday in Abuja.
The military court would start sitting on Wednesday, 15 October 2014.