BRIEFINGS FROM THE SIERRA LEONE CORRECTIONAL SERVICE ON THE INCIDENCE OF 29TH APRIL, 2020_*
▫️Pademba road Correctional Centre houses all categories of inmates (especially high risk)
▫️On that day, there were 1, 300 inmates (400% overcrowding), in a centre built to hold 324 inmates
▫️Staff shortage (40% under strength)
▫️Covid- 19’s outbreak prevented recruitment, which was in the pipeline
▫️Index covid- 19 case led to drastic measures instituted that restricted movement within the facility
▫️Suspension of court sittings
▫️Closure of the tuck shop (retail outlet within)
▫️Started around 7:30 am and ended around 11am
▫️Inmates damaged workshop doors and set stores and some other buildings on fire
▫️held some officers hostage, and pelted stones at officers
▫️rivalry inmate groups within the centre clashed and wreaked havoc on themselves
▫️OSD personnel initially fired teargas into the centre to restore calm, but failed
▫️armed personnel forced their way in and used reasonable force to restore calm
▫️stores, catering, reception, hospital, and workshop (Le 20 billion)
▫️inmates refused to yield to orders and return to their cells
▫️31 fatalities, including 1 Corrections Officer
▫️12 inmates died from gunshot wounds
▫️16 inmates died from blunt force
▫️2 inmates died of illnesses
▫️21 inmates sustained injuries
▫️32 Corrections Officers sustained injuries
▫️6 of the corpses have been identified and given befitting burials by their families
▫️24 are still in the morgue, unidentified
▫️The setting- up of a riot command post
▫️Psychosocial support to affected persons
▫️Multi- sectorial engagement to ensure better reforms in the SLCS
©️Outreach Unit, SLCS
Visit to Like my Page-https://www.facebook.com/656192434462264?referrer=whatsapp
Director General of SLCS Reveals Findings On Prison Riot_*
*_By Foday Moriba Conteh_*
At the conference room of the Ministry of Information and Communications in Youyi Building in Freetown, during a press conference held on Tuesday 7th July 2020, the Director General of the Sierra Leone Correctional Services, Joseph Lamboi, gave a detailed account of what transpired during the 29th April 2020 prison riot, which culminated in the death of some inmates and an officer.
The DG gave a brief background to the situation at the central Correctional Facility on Pademba Road. He disclosed that the facility was originally meant to house only 324 prisoners, but today it has 1,400 inmates. The facility, he furthered, houses all sorts of inmates for various offences, those of low risk to those of high risk.
Speaking on the purpose of the meeting, which is to update the media on their findings, he said that the population in the facility on 29th April 2020 was 1,300 ,400% of its original capacity. Staff of the SLCS is understrength by 40% and moves to recruit more staff was hampered by covid19.
With the record of the facility’s index case of COVID-19, tough measures were put in place to ensure it is curbed, and with the closure of all court cases, even the Tuck Shop was closed.
He stated that the riot started at about 7.30 am on 29th April and lasted till 11am. During this period some core criminals damaged workshop doors and set stores, hospital, officers’ room and other buildings on fire. Using iron implements from the workshop they opened all the cells, letting out the others. They then held some prison officers hostage.
During their investigation, it was gleaned that rival clique gangs in the facility attacked each other, whilst pelting other officers with stones.
OSD Officers manning the building came to calm down the situation and fired tear gas at the ravaging groups, but to no avail. Even fire officers who had come to put out the fire were unable to enter. More security was then beefed up and during the encounter fired shots to put things under control.
DG Lamboi said that some 31 inmates died and post-mortem examination performed by Dr. Owizz Koroma has revealed that 12 inmates died from gunshot whilst 16 died from blunt force wounds believed to be the result of the attacks between rival gangs in the facility. 2 inmates died of illnesses, whilst 21 inmates sustained injuries.
He however stressed that on the day of the riot the first twelve deaths were recorded from gunshot wounds, whilst the other deaths were results of injuries inflicted by the rival gang against each other. 32 correctional officers sustained injuries, but have been treated and have recovered and are working.
On the identification of the corpses at the Mortuary, the DG said that 6 of them have been identified by their relatives and have been handed over to them for burial. 24 are still at the mortuary awaiting identification by family members and their subsequent burial. He further stated that some relatives have indicated that they will not collect the corpses of their family members and in the event no one come to claim them, they will all be given a fitting burial by the government.
Moving forward, Director Lamboi stated that the Government has acquired a land in Songo (88hectres) to relocate the facility from Pademba Road. Survey has been done and the owners have given consent and permission for the use of the said land. They will be setting up a riot command post and the installation of CCTV Cameras and other security arrangements for the facility.
In his brief statement, the Minister of Internal Affairs, David Panda Noah, expressed appreciation to all members of the press for honouring the invitation and said as partners in development, he is happy to ensure transparency in the discharge of his functions and as the SLCS is within his purview, he wants the public to know what really transpired, so as to dispel all wild rumours. He further reiterated Government’s support to provide security for the inmates as well as the officers and re-echoed the government’s plans to install CCTV Cameras in the facility.
The meeting was moderated by the Minister of Information, Abdul Rahman Swarray and question and answer session moderated by Deputy Minister of Information, Mamadi Gobeh Kamara.
*(C) The Calabash Newspaper*
Sierra Leone: April 29-Prison riot- 31 people died and 24 have not yet been buried.070720
Director General of Sierra Leone’s correctional center Joseph Lamboi said 31 people in total (30 inmates and one officer) died as a result of the Freetown prison riot of April 29th.
He said 16 died of “blunt force injuries” and 12 others died of “gun shot wounds” when joint security forces used “lethal force” to quell the riot.
Lamboi said out of the number, 24 have not yet been buried as they are waiting on their relatives to identify their bodies-“to be buried in style” quoting the Information Minister Mohamed Swaray.
Government pathologist Dr. Owis Koroma said one of the victims was amputated as a result of gun shot wounds. Two died of other illnesses after the incident.
The officials spoke to the press in Freetown.
Credit: Atlantic Waves Press.
As far as I can see the report is neither credible nor independent. Lots of unanswered questions. Now they tell us, quietly though, that over 30 people were killed on that day. By who? Lots of stories that need proper scrutiny by the independent media. One thing is clear – the state is hiding a lot of things here. It was a massacre of unarmed prisoners by State House security directly answerable to the president himself. Citizens must call for an independent inquiry. Over 30 lives lost (officially) maybe more and no one is held accountable? For how long will this impunity and fueled by parochial political rivalry continue? In fact we still do not know who were in the “investigations committee”.
#PadembaMassacre We Need Am Independent International investigation under the banner of the AU. This govt report is not credible. It’s a cover up. Govt says 31 lives lost. The cold blooded murder of prisoners is unacceptable. It was simply an extra- judicial mass killing by the state. We have reached a new level of Yayah Jammeh like bloody military-civilian junta rule in Sierra Leone. #InvestigatePadembaMassacre
Moses Samura shared a memory.