May 7, 2019
By Ibrahim Tarawallie
The Network of African National Human Rights Institutions (NANHRI) has welcomed and opened its doors to the new Commissioners of the Human Rights Commission of Sierra Leone (HRCSL).
NANHRI is the regional umbrella body that brings together 44 African National Human Rights Institutions, with their Secretariat based in Nairobi, Kenya.
The Network seeks to support and strengthen National Human Rights Institutions in Africa, as well as facilitates coordination and cooperation among themselves and between them and other key human rights actors at regional and international level.
In their letter to the commission dated May 3rd, 2019, NANHRI extended their warmest congratulations on the appointment of the commissioners and assured that, “We are ready to offer you the support that you need to accomplish your mission of promotion, protection and advocacy for human rights in the Republic of Sierra Leone”.
Just after the dissolution of the previous commissioners by government, NANHRI wrote a letter to the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, seeking justification and the Speaker of Parliament drawing his attention to the concerns of the dissolved commissioners.
The letters were controversially used by some aggrieved people against the government and HRCSL by presenting a picture that the Network was going to reject the new commissioners with the commission risk losing its Grade A reaccreditation.
However, NANHRI called on the commissioners not to hesitate to contact them if the need arises and look forward to a close and good cooperation as they embark on their duties of steering the commission to deliver on its mandate.
As a first start of their work, the HRCSL commissioners embarked on strategic interaction drive with its local and international partners by way of rekindling confidence and support. The Commissioners have also undertaken an internal orientation and have mapped out their short and long term vision for the protection and promotion of human rights in the country.