The Vice Chairperson of the Human Right Commission of Sierra Leone (HRCSL) Victor Idrissa Lansana while commending the Government of Sierra Leone for taking the bold step to repeal the death penalty from the law books of Sierra Leone warned security forces especially the Sierra Leone Police of reckless policing.
“It also means that those trigger-happy police or security personnel should now begin to think that, indeed, there is no longer time for them to involved in reckless policing when they are out there as police officers to actually do their work, because you aware of section 16:2 that tells you the limitations of the right to life. This is a clarion call for HRCSL, the advocacy continues to security personnel to understand that the days are gone where they will engage unprofessionally and at the end of the day lives would be lost.”
The Vice Chair was speaking on the role of the Commission in advocating for the repeal of the death penalty on Thursday 29th July 2021 at HRCSL conference room in Freetown.
“We see a very bold step from the executive, particularly President Bio to take that particular law to Parliament for Parliament in turn to get rid of the death penalty from our law books. For us as a Commission, we welcome such a very laudable move the government has made”
He recalled that before now, the Commission also engaged government to ensure that part 5 of the public order Act was repealed, journalists, and other interest groups joined HRCSL to ensure that they put government under the necessary pressure to ensure that they repealed that aspect of the law.
“This does not mean that the country becomes a lawless society. It is not an invitation for lawlessness. As a matter of fact, government has shown an exemplary leadership. If government said, we are no longer interested in killing anybody, then it means that you, as a citizen, as the ordinary man should also restrain yourself from taking the lives of another person.”
He said that the government has lost the appetite of killing its own people, adding that the Commission continue to engage public servants to ensure that indeed they abide by these by improving on the laws, but at the same time also continue to engage citizens to ensure that they always abide and respect public servants, particularly the police or law enforcement officials.
The HRCSL Vice Chairperson called on citizens to always remain law abiding, to ensure that they continue to enjoy the peace and that the policy does not lapse back into the darkness that witness 11 years.
Sierra Leone joined 23 countries in Africa that have abolished the death penalty. The repealed was also part of the part of Sierra Leone Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) recommendation.
By Ibrahim Joenal Sesay