August 25, 2015 By Ibrahim Tarawallie
The Human Rights Commission of Sierra Leone (HRC-SL) says it is saddened by the fact that some people have still not realised that women’s rights are human rights.
The statement by the commission comes in the aftermath of the alleged gang rape and murder of Hannah Bockarie, 18, at the Aberdeen Beach in Freetown on 13 August.
According to the commission’s chairperson, Brima Abdulai Sheriff, Sierra Leoneans have forgotten the basic social contract of rights and responsibilities that binds everyone together as a society.
“As a commission, we feel sad that we still have people who have not realized that women’s rights are human rights. We have forgotten the basic social contract of rights and responsibilities that binds us together as a society,” he said and noted that Hannah’s rights, including her right to life and dignity, among others, were compromised.
While strongly condemning the act of violence against Hannah, whom he said had rights too, Mr. Sheriff opined that rape is one of the most terrible crimes on earth which happens every few minutes.
“Don’t tell me that if we want to deal with rape we should try to educate women about how to defend themselves. What really needs to be done is teaching men not to rape. Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person. We simply compromised Hannah’s rights. We all failed to rescue her,” he stated.
The HRC-SL chairperson called on the police to speedily investigate the matter with the view to bringing perpetrators to justice, and noted that there was no contradiction between effective law enforcement and respect for civil and human rights.
He reminded the public that their individual and collective security is the responsibility not only of the police, but also of each and everyone as citizens, and therefore called on all to share vital information that will help the police in the arrest and prosecution of those responsible for the inhuman act.