The West African Bar Association speaks against the unlawful trial of 28 Nigerian soldiers


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The West African Bar Association speaks against the unlawful trial of 28 Nigerian soldiers

The West African Bar Association (WABA) has petitionted the UN over what it called the unlawful trial of 28 Nigerian soldiers, who staged a protest over non-payment of their allowances when they served at the UN Mission in Liberia. They were subsequently arrested by the military authorities and are currently being tried for mutiny. They could face the death penalty, if convicted. In a letter addressed to the Special Rapporteur on the Promotion and Protection of the Right to Freedom of Opinion and Expression, Special Procedure Division and signed by its President, Mr. Femi Falana, WABA urged the UN to urgently prevail on the Nigerian government to stop the trial and release the soldiers. “Throughout the seven-month duration of the programme, the monthly salary of US$1,048 per person paid by the United Nations was illegally withheld by the Nigerian Army. Unlike their counterparts in the UN contingent, the Nigerian soldiers had to fend for themselves. They were even compelled to buy their uniforms and boots even though provisions were made for them by the United Nations. “We consider the unlawful trial of the 28 soldiers to be in violation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which provides in its Article 19 that ‘Everyone shall have, the right to hold opinions without interference’,” WABA said.

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