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IG receives human rights report PDF Print E-mail
Written by Expotimes   
Friday, 10 February 2017 14:43

The Inspector General of Police on Tuesday February 8 received the Annual State of Human Rights Report 2015 from the Human Rights Commission of Sierra Leone.

The HRCSL report includes the ways in which fundamental rights and freedoms in the 1991 Constitution and international and regional agreements to which Sierra Leone is a party have been observed or violated.  It also includes steps taken by the Commission to protect and promote human rights; the results of individual complaints investigated, and the interventions and recommendations made by the Commission in respect of matters brought before it.

Presenting the State of Human Rights Report that contained the findings to the Inspector General of Police, Commissioner Brima A. Sheriff noted swift response from the Police to help victims in various areas nationwide that were seriously affected by floods and the reduction of cases investigated by the CDIID of the SLP from 235 in 2014 to 46 in 2015 on allegations of assault, unlawful detention and other related violations by police personnel.

Commissioner Sheriff brought to the attention of the police that on May 29, seven police officers attached to the Central Police station conducted a raid at the 'common ground' in central Freetown. During the raid, one Samuel Haffner, who was arrested with 9 other youths was allegedly beaten by the officers. He died on May 30 after he was released. A tribunal was set up by the CDIID to look in to matter, the officers involved in the alleged murder were dismissed and handed over to the CID for further investigation and the matter was charged to court.  Mention was also made about an OSD officer that was dismissed from the force for shooting one Alimamy Kamara of Victoria Street during an altercation.

Speaking on monitoring conducted by HRCSL on detention facilities, Commissioner Sheriff said the Commission visited 13 police stations in the western area of Mountain Division, Regent, Goderich, Aberdeen, Lumley, Congo Cross, New England Ville, Central, Eastern, Ross Road, Kissy, Calaba Town, and Waterloo Police Stations from the 18TH- 20TH June. The general findings were, overcrowding, over detention, unhygienic conditions, inadequate electricity and Poor quality and insufficient food supply. At Ross road, Waterloo and New England Ville stations, the cells for male suspects were overcrowded, without beds or mats, with faeces and urine on the floor.

"This contravenes Part 1(4)(e) of the Luanda Guidelines which states " The rights to humane and hygienic conditions during the arrest period, including adequate water, food, sanitation, accommodation and rest, as appropriate considering the time spent in police custody". Commissioner Sheriff stated.

In their recommendations, HRCSL reiterated their call on Government to provide funding and other resources to the SLP which should be appropriately distributed by the SLP to all areas of operations. And the SLP  to refrain from using action that would result to unnecessary deaths and institutionalize zero tolerance against unnecessary violence to, or ill-using any person in custody in line with the Police (Discipline) Regulations, 2001 and the Guidelines on the Conditions of Arrest, Police Custody and Pre- Trial Detention in Africa. They also recommended that Government and SLP should take steps to establish forensic laboratories and recruit more pathologists, forensic and ballistic experts to expedite investigation of cases.

In his response, the Inspector General of Police, Francis Munu commended HRCSL for their good job and reiterated the support of his institution to the work of HRCSL. He said the SLP felt very good that an independent body checks on their human rights records and stressed that the recommendations would be looked into as a progress for the SLP.

On the area of hygiene in police cells, he called on his Police Commanders to be regularly doing oversight at their divisions and not to always rely on reports from their officers. He thus cautioned his Commanders to be mindful of the International Convention on the minimum treatment of their inmates.

The Deputy Inspector General of Police, Richard Moigbe commented that "this is a well balanced report and my favorite on the report". Assistant Inspector General of Police, Memuna Jalloh consented that 'it is a well balanced report".

 

Editorial

2016 Global Peace Conference to be held in Freetown---as IPRA 50th Birthday confab ends in Istanbul

 

The 26th biennal conference of the Internatonal Peace Research Association (IPRA) is billed to take place in  Freetown, Sierra Leone in November 2016, marking the second time Africa has hosted the conference since the founding of IPRA in 1964. This was announced following the re-election of  the two IPRA Secretaries-general, Dr Ibrahim Seaga Shaw (pictured) and Dr Nesrin Kenar, who co-ordinated the 25th  IPRA conference in Turkey,  at the organisation’s administrative meeting on August 14 during the 25th  IPRA  conference in Istanbul  to serve a second term of two years.

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Business News

Four illegal fishing cases found in Sierra Leone in four days

FREETOWN, Sierra Leone, April 20, 2017/ -- Four illegal fishing cases have been found during a joint surveillance mission conducted by Greenpeace (www.Greenpeace.org/Africa/en) and Sierra Leone fishery authorities. Two Chinese vessels and one Korean vessel have been arrested for infringements of Sierra Leone fishing legislation, including possessing or using illegal fishing nets on board, no visible marking and a lack of required paperwork, including log books and authorisation for unloading catch. Fishing authorities ordered the vessels to return to Freetown port for further investigation. A fourth vessel, owned by an Italian company, was found with four kilograms of shark fins on board. Though not illegal under Sierra Leonean laws, this is a clear violation of European Union (EU) fishing rules. This boat’s case will be taken further with relevant EU authorities.

In addition, more than 70 bags of shark carcasses were found on one of the Chinese vessels.

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Media News

44 Journalists in Beijing for China Development Studies and Media Exchange

The 4th session of the China Africa Press Center (CAPC) Program hosted by the China Public Diplomacy Association (CPDA) was officially launched on Wednesday 1st March 2017 in Beijing, China. This year’s event is running simultaneously with the China South Asia Center 2017 program. Both programs brought together forty-four journalists from Africa and South Asia.

The program you will give journalists the opportunity to cover major domestic and international events in China such as the upcoming Two Sessions, i.e, the 5th Session of the 12th National People's Congress (NPC) and the 5th Session of the 12th National Committee of the Chinese

People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) (similar to Parliamentary sessions in many countries) in March, the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in May and the 9th BRICS Summit in Autumn this year.

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Commentary

A NEW DAWN FOR JUSTICE AND HUMAN RIGHTS IN SIERRA LEONE, PARLIAMENT APPROVES MELRON NICOL-WILSON AS NEW OMBUDSMAN

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A man whose action speaks louder than words, Mr Nicol-Wilson has been appointed as new Ombudsman for Sierra Leone, a position reserved for high-profile people, who are well-respected and with unblemished character. Mr Nicol-Wilson has the typical pedigree of an Ombudsman, best known both in Sierra Leone and internationally as a champion for justice and human rights.  

The Parliament’s decision to approve Mr Nicol-Wilson was anticipated, as the high-profile human rights lawyer emerged unscathed from an exchange of views with Members of Parliament.

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View Point

ELECTION IS A TESTIMONY TO PEOPLE’S SOVEREIGNTY

(The thoughts expressed in this article are purely and entirely the thoughts of the author)

Election in any democratic setting, include the enjoyment of those rights that will elicit the full participation of individuals in determining the political life of his/her country. An election is a decision making process through which eligible citizens(those who have reached the age of majority, 18 years and above and with sound mind) freely choose their leaders through the ballot box to hold public offices for a specified term.

Generally, people vote with the expectation that the office holders would represent their communitiesand or countries best interest.  Elections are viewed as a central feature of the rule of law, human rights, and democracy. Essentially, election is a testimony to peoples’ sovereignty and that ought to be respected and the process must be credible, otherwise there will be challenge with regards the acceptance of the result.

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News - Press Release

Police reject security for Alternative Peoples Independence Procession and Rally

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In a meeting with senior members of the Sierra Leone Police at the SLP headquarters, on Monday 24th April attended by the Inspector General, Francis Munu, the Head of Police Operations, Assistant Inspector General (AIG) Al-Sheikh Kamara, AIG Memuna Konteh Jalloh, AIG FUK Dabor, among others, the police top brass told members of MSP that they would not be able to provide security for the procession and rally.

The Inspector General of Police, Francis Munu, informed the meeting that they were overstretched with covering the official events, the traditional masquerade (or Odele) parade as well as the Lantern Parade on the eve of Independence.

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Society -Local News

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Ms. Carlton-Hanciles pointed out thatHon. Joseph Fitzgerald Kamara has served as keynote speaker in all the launches the Board has had around the country. He noted that the Office of the Attorney General and Ministry of Justice is the supervisory ministry for the Legal Aid Board and further underlined the importance of having the holder of the office at such events in terms of availing himself with the challenges ordinary people face in accessing the justice system. More importantly, it provides an opportunity for these issues to be discussed by the cabinet.

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Development

LAB wants transports to allocate seats to the blind

The Executive Director of the Legal Aid Board, Ms. Fatmata Claire Carlton-Hanciles has disclosed plans to launch a White Cane Campaign in the coming weeks.

Ms. Carlton-Hanciles made the disclosure while addressing a cross section of the Waterloo Community including stakeholders at the District Council Hall on Monday, 24 April 2017 in a meeting to plan the launch of the Legal Aid Board in Waterloo in the WesternArea Rural District on 6 May 2017.

She noted that the campaign will seek to address the challenges faced by blind people in using public transport. ‘Blind people have been suffering in silence for far too long,’ she said. ‘They have been discriminated against because of their disability and this cannot be tolerated.’

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Politics

SAM SUMANA TRAVELS TO GHANA ON "EMERGENCY TRAVEL CERTIFICATE"
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"This matter has been set down for hearing by the Court for April 26, 2017."
 
According to a spokesman for the Sam Sumana family Matthias Bendu who was with Sam Sumana at the airport until the aircraft was airborne because of advanced information reaching the family that there would be some problem awaiting Sam Sumana at the airport, Matthias Bendu told this Writer on the cellphone from the airport that Sam Sumana "was detained by Immigration Officers at the airport for more than thirty minutes  after the aircraft  landed, and it was due to the intervention of the Inspector General of Police Francis Munu who told the immigration Officers that Sam Sumana had not committed any crime and must be allowed to travel".
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