The execution sparked controversy abroad, with many nations condemning the execution and an official enquiry by the United Nations into the practice of capital punishment in the Seafaring Confederation. It created diplomatic tensions between the Seafaring Confederation and the European Union and much of the Western world.
Domestic responses were few and often in support of the executions.
The eight convicts were all underage at the time of first conviction in May 2010. Three were 14, two were 15, two were 17, and one was 19. All eight convicts were male and found guilty initially of raping and sexually abusing 35 minors of both genders between the ages of 8 and 16. Post-humously another 14 victims were identified to bring the total to 49 victims.
Six of the convicts were Saxonian, the other two Slesian-Holsteinian-Jutlandic.
The 2010 Ohlsdorf Gang Rapes were a series of gang rapes of teenage underage girls and boys between the ages of 8 and 16 in the Ohlsdorf Cemetery in Hamburg by a group of eight underage boys between the ages of 14 and 19. As of 2014, a total of 49 victims of the gang rapes have been identified. In 2010 at the conclusion of this case, a total of 35 victims had been identified.
The perpetrators were caught and arrested in April 2010. DNA profiling and witness testimonies provided enough evidence that they had been the perpetrators. This meant that when they were led before the District Court of the City of Hamburg they were immediately sentenced to death for rape and sexual assault without a possibility for appeal. In response a lawsuit was filed by the parents of three of the convicts in the Confederate Court system against the in their eyes disproportionate retribution against the underage perpetrators.
The execution of underage criminals was found to be legal under Article 45 of the Constitution of the Seafaring Confederation by the Confederate District Court and all subsequent Appellate Courts all the way up to the Supreme Court of the Seafaring Confederation. This meant that all underage perpetrators were convicted of 35 accounts of rape and 35 accounts of sexual abuse, thus effectively each convict was sentenced to death 70 times in total.
The eight underage convicts were executed by lethal injection on the morning of 30 August 2010 in the Steinwerded Prison in Hamburg. The families of all convicts were present at the executions, having been allowed to comfort the convicts before they received the lethal injection. All executions were carried out without complications.
The Seafaring Confederation received widespread criticism from the international community for the execution of minors.
- The European Union criticized the Seafaring Confederation for the executions, threatening with economic sanctions. Jerzy Buzek, President of the European Parliament brought out a statement condemning the executions, stating that they were "the most abominable state-sanctioned executions to be carried out in Europe since the Second World War."
- The United Nations condemned the executions and sent an enquiry group the Seafaring Confederation to look into the executions.
- The government of the Netherlands condemned the executions. Demissionary Prime Minister of the Netherlands Jan-Peter Balkenende called the execution "highly uncivilised".
- The government of the United Kingdom condemned the executions with Secretary of State the Rt Hon. William Hague MP calling the executions "a blemish on modern society" and "putting the civilisation of Europe into a negative light".
- Ohlsdorf Gang Rapes victims vs. Ohlsdorf Gang Rapes offenders, the court case ruling that the executions were constitutional and ordering the executions to continue.