September 20, (THEWILL) –The United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) has urged Nigeria and other countries to abolish the death penalty, to enhance the dignity of the human race.
The UNHRC is an inter-governmental body within the United Nations system, whose mission is to promote and protect human rights around the world
In its annual report on the ‘Question of the Death penalty’, covering the period July 2020–June 2022, the Council said about 170 countries have abolished or introduced a moratorium on the death penalty either in law or in practice.
It added that “as of 15 June 2022, 90 States(countries) had deposited their instruments of ratification or accession to the Second Optional Protocol to the Covenant, the key international treaty prohibiting the death penalty.”
Reporting on Nigeria and other affected countries, the council said its human right treaty bodies observed the reintroduction of the use of the death penalty and resumption of executions across some states.
“Human rights treaty bodies encouraged States to consider ratifying or acceding to the Second Optional Protocol, including with regard to Cambodia, Cameroon, Iraq, Kenya, Nigeria, Qatar, and Senegal. Treaty bodies also invited States, including Cuba, Kenya, Nigeria, and Singapore, to consider declaring a moratorium on the use of the death penalty with a view to its abolition.
“In India and Nigeria, various states extended the scope of the death penalty, including for sexual offences and for kidnapping and cattle rustling”, the report said.
The Council advised that countries that retain the death penalty should only limit it to the most serious crimes, “which has been consistently interpreted as crimes of extreme gravity involving intentional killing, and refrain from using it for crimes not involving intentional killing, such as drug-related offences or overly broad terrorism-related crimes.”