NIGERIA: Festival of Death

Usually, Bar Beach on Nigeria's Victoria Island is dotted with sun umbrellas and gaily painted food stalls. Last week it became the scene of a kind of festival of death. Thousands of Nigerians, chanting "Traitors, traitors," jammed the beach, trampling the candy-striped awnings underfoot. A similar throng gathered not far away at Kirikiri Prison, just outside Lagos, the capital. Both high-spirited crowds were assembled to witness the public executions of some 30 soldiers, including four lieutenant colonels and six majors, and a lone civilian. A special military board had convicted them of planning the abortive coup of Feb. 13,...