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CHRDSL urges Gov’t to release unlawful detainees

November 9, 2015 By Ibrahim Tarawallie 

The Campaign for Human Rights and Development, Sierra Leone has called on the government to immediately release all detainees who have not been charged with legitimate criminal offences.

According to a release signed by it Chief Executive Officer, Abdul M Fatoma, the organization also urged that those who are to be charged should be brought promptly before the court in compliance with the Laws of the country.

He complained strongly about the continued unlawful, arbitrary and unjustifiable detention of over seventy-eight (78) innocent citizens by law enforcement officers, noting that they were arbitrarily arrested and have been detained unlawfully for over 84 months now without charges.

“The unlawful detention of these citizens is tantamount to violating their human dignity and destroying their lives. To detain citizens without charge and with no regard for due process is in clear violation of the laws of Sierra Leonean and international Human Rights Law. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that no one may be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or imprisonment. All defendants have the rights to fair trial,” he said.

Mr. Fatoma noted that they view the failure of the government to uphold the principles of fundamental human rights as a contributing factor to making the justice system into a privilege for only the wealthy to access.

As a policy advocacy and human rights organizations based in Sierra Leone, United Kingdom and America, he stated that one of their aims is to promote police accountability and respect for human rights, as well as the enhancement of safety, security and justice.

“We are also calling on the Sierra Leone Police Board to investigate cases of unlawful detention, and ill-treatment of prisoners by Police officers and ensure that those who are responsible for these abuses are brought to justice. In Sierra Leone, people are being held without due process of the law and prisoners are convicted in unfair trials,” he added.

He concluded that Sierra Leone is built, which is why it should be allowed to grow on the principles of democracy, human rights, and the rule of law.