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Press Release
Human Rights Recommendations for Sierra Leone PDF  | Print |  E-mail
News
Written by press statement   
Monday, 01 February 2016 19:36

On 27 January, Sierra Leone’s Human Rights record was reviewed at the on-going Universal Periodic Review in Geneva, Switzerland.

The AG/Minister of Justice of Sierra Leone led the delegation and made the following submission;  that the country had just undergone their review under the African Charter on HRs and Peoples Rights and complied with their reporting obligations under CEDAW and CAT; that Sierra Leone continues to implement the recommendations from the two Transitional Justice bodies including on reparations (Special Court for Sierra Leone and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission); that recruitment of child soldiers has been eradicated including through the new Armed Forces regulation; that while a State of Emergency had been declared in July 2014 following the Ebola crisis, that it has since elapsed, and was at all times strictly limited to what was absolutely necessary; that it is undergoing a review of its Constitution with its report being submitted in March 2016, followed by a referendum; that the budgetary support to the NHRI has been increased in the annual budget; a Justice Sector Coordination Office has been established, with a Legal Aid Board soon to be operationalized to provide legal aid services; the Independent Police Complaints Board has also been operationalized, as well as Family Support Units in the police stations to better address domestic violence/SGBV cases; and a Children’s Commission has been established to pursue child abuse and address corporal punishment. 

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Belgian Trade Pre-Mission visit Connaught Hospital PDF  | Print |  E-mail
News
Written by JAK/KK/MOHS/SLENA   
Friday, 22 January 2016 11:07

Freetown, Jan. 20,016 (MOHS) - A high powered Belgian Trade Pre-Mission to Sierra Leone, led by the Secretary of State for Foreign Trade, Mr. Pieter De Crem has visited the Connaught hospital for possible support to the institution.

The team which comprises officials from Belgian Government, Belgian companies, representatives from Africa and mediavisited the Ebola trial vaccine unit, the screening facility for the patients as well as triage and isolation facilities and Dialysis unit of the hospital.

Speaking on behalf of the delegation, the Secretary of State for Foreign Trade, Mr. Pieter De Crem said the Federal Government of Belgium Foreign Trade supported Sierra Leone a lot when they were hit by the Ebola crisis through their airline company.

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SLAJ condemns arrest of Jonathan Leigh PDF  | Print |  E-mail
News
Written by press statement   
Friday, 18 December 2015 22:10

The Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ) is appalled by the arrest, by the police, of journalist Jonathan Leigh, Managing Editor of the Independent Observer newspaper, over an alleged publication of reported violent incidents in Kono following campaigns by the ruling All People's Congress (APC) and the main opposition Sierra Leone People's Party (SLPP) in the build-up to the Saturday December 19, 2015 by-election in Constituency 25 in Kono.

Mr. Leigh was picked up in his office in the evening of Thursday 17 December by three officers from the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), who told the journalist that they were acting on "orders" to arrest him regarding his front page publication of that day. The investigating officers said the journalist was being interrogated for "false publication"; he was subsequently detained after statement had been obtained from him.

SLAJ is concerned that there seems to exist a consistent pattern by the police to arrest journalists for their publications instead of allowing the body established by law to regulate the media – the Independent Media Commission (IMC) – to handle such matters. We view Mr. Leigh's arrest as a clear case of political harassment and intimidation and therefore call for his immediate release.

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SLRA PRO Explains Salini Impregilo Quarry Operations PDF  | Print |  E-mail
News
Written by Mohamed Kamara   
Wednesday, 16 December 2015 11:05

The   Public Relations Officer of the Sierra Leone Roads Authority (SLRA), Sorie Ibrahim Kanu has reacted to a story published in the Awoko Newspaper of Wednesday 9th December 2015 titled: EPA To Close Salini Impregilo Quarry Operations.

In that publication, Mr. Kanu said that the author of that article failed to know that the Government of Sierra Leone is responsible for property acquisition, borrow pit, quarries, land for camp construction and all EIA Licenses for any road projects across the country. 

He pointed out that SLRA acquired EIA Licenses for the Matotoka Road rehabilitation and construction project in December 2013.

"There was a misunderstanding that Salini Empregu is operating a quarry for the said project without a valid license, but failing to know that Salini Empregu is among the quarries that operates under road projects in the country," he said. 

He  added that, closing Salini Impregilo  will  give them a plus  because any time they  stop working,  government will lost not less than  US$ 10,000 dollars a day and multiply in four days,   you'll see the  huge amount of money government  may lose if a closure comes in.

"As the people know, contractors are operating with time frame and maximizing profit which is their aim," he pointed out. 

Mr. Kanu drew reference in the Lungi Port Loko road when the 'Ojeh' society placed a ban on the CRSG in Lungi, little they didn't know that the company was not losing anything.

The Public Relations Officer told this press that they want to inform the general public that it's not the responsibility of any road contractors to acquire license for its quarry operations but the said misunderstanding is being resolved by SLRA and EPA -SL amicably.

 
Statistics Sierra Leone, International Partners Brief President Koroma PDF  | Print |  E-mail
News
Written by State House Communications Unit   
Tuesday, 01 December 2015 11:16

Ahead of the 2015 population and housing census, Statistics Sierra Leone and its international partners on Monday 30 November briefed President Ernest Bai Koroma on its preparedness to conduct the census. The housing and population census is scheduled to take place from 5th to 18th December, 2015.

President Koroma thanked the institutions involved in the census process for their great efforts and stated that he will continue to urge the general public to fully participate in the census to have correct data on the population and other sectors. He pointed out that the data collected will help in policy direction and in the disbursement of funds.

The president emphasized the need for enhanced sensitization and awareness raising, particularly in remote areas, and called on paramount chiefs to be fully involved in order to reach remote areas. He thanked development partners for their financial and technical support towards the conduct of the census and assured of government’s support and commitment to live up to its responsibility.

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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

The Parliament of the Republic of Sierra Leone has overwhelmingly approved the appointment of Mr Melron Nicol-Wilson as new Ombudsman, on Tuesday April 11, 2017. This follows him being named by H.E President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma as the replacement to Justice Edmond Cowan - a long-standing legal icon, who now chairs the Sierra Leone Constitutional Review Committee.

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

April 24th 2017: On the occasion of the 56th anniversary of Sierra Leone’s independence, Movement for Social Progress (MSP) had requested the Sierra Leone Police to provide the necessary security for a peaceful Alternative Peoples Independence Procession and Rally that was planned to coincide with the official celebrations. The procession was planned to start from Clock Tower to Brima Atouga Stadium in the East end of the city while the official events are scheduled to take place in the West end of the city.

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

AG to launch LAB in Waterloo

The Executive Director of the Legal Aid Board, Ms. Fatmata Claire Carlton-Hanciles has told the people of Waterloo that the Attorney General and Minister of Justice (AG), Hon. Joseph Fitzgerald Kamara will serve as the keynote speaker at the launch of the Legal Aid Board in Waterloo in the Western Area Rural District on 6 May 2017.

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"
Former elected Vice President Samuel Sam Sumana left Freetown International Airport, Lungi late afternoon Wednesday April 19, 2017 onboard Kenya Airways on an "Emergency Travel Certificate",  en route to Abuja, Nigeria on or about April 23/24, 2017 for the hearing of his petition filed on October 24, 2016 in the ECOWAS Community Court of Justice, "seeking an enforcement of his fundamental Human Rights arising from his unconstitutional removal from office, and for further orders contained in the application."
 
"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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