Suspects cry for justice in court
On 24th November 2009 Sierra Express Media had interviews with inmates in various areas in the City of Freetown about their detention condition.
Ibrahim Conteh who said he was arrested at Cabala Town and has been in police cell for over two weeks without charging his matter to court and was allegedly arrested for disorderly behavior is said to have taken about six week now in detention.
He further said there are other suspects he met in the Kissy police cell who have spent more than a month there without addressing their matter, rather they keep on telling them their witnesses have not come to give statements regarding their matter and thus could not be charged.
“We are expecting the police to show certain concern about our situation because it’s certainly a crime for us to be detained here indefinitely without charging our matter to court. The Inmates SEM spoke to ask the media to recommend to that government that this draconian system of justice administration is changed as such is rampant in almost all police stations all over the country.Â Â
Other inmates on trial cited some instances that surround the court system which is of concern to them like giving equal rights to all suspects in the police custody. “Justice must be dispensed without favour but some of us are left here in the dungeon whilst the cases of our compatriots are being dealt with in utmost urgency, this is wrong” an inmate at the central police station cried forth.
Another suspect Sorie Samura also alleged that the police manhandle him in his cell at the Kissy police station whenever little things like asking for drinking water “we are giving serious beatings for such things as if it not our right to ask for them” he added. “In fact I was relocated to a different area when I insisted on drinking; treatment I find to be most inhuman especially when my case could not be charged and at the same time could not be released by the police” he continued. Another inmateÂ from Pademba Road Maximum Prison interviewed said “the legal system always consider those who have money rather than looking at the equal right side of the law; if you don’t have money no justice comes your way, that how it is in Sierra Leone you buy justice.
Sergeant Turay, one of the lockup officers in responding to such allegation said they act on instruction from above but also blamed the slow dispensation of justice by the court system as affecting the whole of the justice system in the country. Sergeant Turay told Sierra Express Media that they as officers are also going through serious constraints in the court as they have some cases that could be attended to by the court for months which he said is very frustrating.
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