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Nigeria carrying out secret executions: Amnesty

[JURIST] Nigeria [JURIST news archive] has secretly carried out at least seven state executions [press release] in recent years despite official denials, Amnesty International claimed Monday in a new report. The executed men, who were all hanged, were generally tried without representation and not given any opportunity to appeal their convictions. Amnesty accused Nigeria of "misleading the world," and called on the country to impose a moratorium on the death penalty. BBC News has more.

Last month, Nigeria voted against a UN General Assembly Third Committee [official website] resolution to place a worldwide moratorium [press release] on the death penalty [JURIST news archive]. The UN summary of the committee meeting quoted Nigeria's representative as saying that

the death penalty was still on his country’s statute books for national security reasons and as a deterrent against serious crimes. Inferences contained in the draft could not be accepted. Capital punishment in Nigeria was meted out for the most serious offences, where human life had been taken or the security of the State threatened. There had been no cases of capital punishment in recent years in Nigeria. In essence, a moratorium on the death penalty should not be imposed by any group of States. Any moratorium should be on basis of negotiation and agreement. The draft resolution fell short of that. Nigeria found the degree of division on the issue disturbing. In view of the draft resolution’s controversial nature and attempts to impose it on Member States, the Nigerian delegation would vote against the draft.
The resolution passed the Committee 99-52 and is slated to go before the full UN General Assembly [Amnesty press release] on Tuesday; Nigeria has indicated that it will vote against the final measure.

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