The Sierra Leone Anti-Corruption Commission today humiliated the teachers allegedly caught in examinations fraud by putting derogatory posters on the handcuffed teachers and displaying them publicly at Cotton Tree, the centre of Freetown.
This action by the ACC has brought widespread condemnation from Sierra Leoneans who believe that it is a violation of the rights and dignity of the accused teachers. Many Sierra Leoneans are asking what happened to the presumption of innocence.
Karamoh Kabba wrote:
ACC’s Francis Ben Kelfala has garnished human rights abuses, disregard for rule of law, unconstitutionality and spineless judiciary in Sierra Leone with a crude old and anachronistic punitive measure against suspects of corruption only akin to puritanical measure of hanging and displaying the scarlet letter ‘A’ around the neck of adulterous women of 14th-16th centuries renaissance period by hanging placards of guilt around their necks in hand cuffs in 21 century Sierra Leone before they are found guilty by a competent court of law to the distaste of the entire country which even the lopsided Sierra Leone Human Rights Commision has called an error and a demeaning human right abuse. What a shame!
Emmanuel Kamara This Act of ACC is in contravention of Section 23 (1-4) of the 1991 Constitution. The law of innocence before charged to court.
What happened today with people paraded as criminals without trial is extrajudicial punishment or better known as Jungle justice
I was really shocked, Brima… when I saw the photos spread across social media. The world is watching… and this is an embarrassment and violation of so many rights… I just don’t know where to start.
Brima Abdulai Sheriff Stephen Douglas This is just insane….. It has compromised all the good work of the ACC. Fighting corruption is a right based approach but violating rights at this scale and magnitude is unacceptable and insane.
Samuel Jones Our law books are scared and must be respected. No law warrant what the commissioner did. I take this as abuse of power and office by the commissioner. He acted unprofessionally. Due process must be followed. What can we say about those corrupt minister, government officials found guilty of corruption. A person is presumed innocent until found guilty.
If those subjected to public display were tried and found guilty by a competent judge and the judge did pass such a judgement, then I support such an action to publicly humiliate them. I believe it will serve as a deterrent and I support it.
However, if they are just accused persons and they’ve not been tried by any competent judge then I CONDEMN IT. ACC does not have the right to PUNISH ACCUSED person before judgement. Our constitution gives every accused the right to be considered innocent until found guilty by a competent court.
Some folks have cited Article 7 subsection 1 (a) of the Anti-corruption act which read as follows:
” *commission is established to take all steps as maybe necessary for the prevention, eradication or suppression of corruption and corrupt practices”* as justification for the actions of the ACC. I disagree with them.
The words ” all steps necessary” DOES NOT give right to the ACC to PUNISH ACCUSED PERSON BEFORE A VERDICT given by a competent judge. But I leave that to the judgement of legal luminaries.
Jesmed F Suma ©
Let the victims face the law and let the law prevail but not in such barbaric manner.. when they caught those in Aberdeen last year ACC never displayed them on the street like that .
Put salone fus . Rule of law
BREAKING HOME NEWS
Sierra Leone under serious Human rights abuse and violation under president Julius Maada Bio’s slpp Government watch
As professional educators / Teachers are paraded in the streets of Freetown yesterday by president Julius Maada Bio and his slpp government over alledge examination malpractices as a punitive measures without due process as mandated by our constitution.
Our international donor partners and the international community continue to carefully watch the dark history of our country committed by president Bio and only 0.3% slpp Mendecrats
Sierra Leone in complete mess under slpp Bio leadership.
In 2023 Bio and his slpp surrogates must GOOOO..
Poor teachers have suffered my brother. The commissioner himself said it was a syndicate involving even the police. Why were the police not paraded as well?
He made a mistake. I like him, but on this, he took a bad decision.
Imagine the teachers decide to retaliate. What would become of the education system?
Hassan, this is sad, Totally bad and unacceptable practice by the teachers and all involved including parents who got e their children money to bribe for grades.
So can we see even those parents paraded?
The action of the ACC was very wrong my bro.
Imagine the damage they have caused on the those teachers. People have done worst crimes my bro.
I really felt bad when i saw those images. It’s pity. This will bring our human rights ratings very low which will have negative impact on the entire well being of the country.
It is sad when you see people blindly defending the indefensible all in the name of party politics. No government anywhere in the world is perfect but what is sickening is when blind supporters think this government is made up of saints who cannot make any mistakes and should never be criticized.
Due process is the legal requirement that the government must respect all legal rights that are owed to a person. Due process balances the power of law of the land and protects the individual person from it.
When these International Human Rights Organisations ranked us in their annual reports as a non-respecter of human rights,we say den nor lek Salone.This incident reminds me of SLAVERY.
European Convention on Human Rights
Article 6(2) of the 1950 European Convention on Human Rights provides: “Everyone charged with a criminal offence shall be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law.”
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
Article 14(2) of the 1966 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights provides: “Everyone charged with a criminal offence shall have the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law.”
African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights
Article 7(1) of the 1981 African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights provides: “Every individual shall have the right to have his cause heard. This comprises: … the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty by a competent court or tribunal.”
Article 66 of the 1998 ICC Statute, entitled “Presumption of innocence”, provides:
1. Everyone shall be presumed innocent until proved guilty before the Court in accordance with the applicable law.
2. The onus is on the Prosecutor to prove the guilt of the accused.
3. In order to convict the accused, the Court must be convinced of the guilt of the accused beyond reasonable doubt.
Statute of the Special Court for Sierra Leone
Article 17(3) of the 2002 Statute of the Special Court for Sierra Leone states: “The accused shall be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to the provisions of the present Statute.”
Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Article 11 of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights provides: “Everyone charged with a penal offence has the right to be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to law.”
Article 21(3) of the 1993 ICTY Statute provides: “The accused shall be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to the provisions of the present Statute.”
Article 20(3) of the 1994 ICTR Statute provides: “The accused shall be presumed innocent until proved guilty according to the provisions of the present Statute.”
ILC Draft Code of Crimes against the Peace and Security of Mankind (1996)
Article 11(1) of the 1996 ILC Draft Code of Crimes against the Peace and Security of Mankind provides that an individual charged with a crime against the peace and security of mankind “shall be presumed innocent until proved guilty”.