Sierra Leone Gender Watch Condemns Unconstitutional Detention of NEC Six
Unconstitutional Detention of Suspects of Alleged Electoral Malpractice by Sierra Leone Police
2 December, 2012
Sierra Leone Gender Watch (SLGW) strongly condemns the detention of the six women suspected of alleged election malpractice, who have been held past the 72 hours constitutional time limit prescribed in section 17(3) of the 1991 Constitution. The Constitution provides that should the Sierra Leone Police have sufficient evidence to charge their matters to court, these women should be bought to relevant authority within the specified time limit.
They have been detained at the Criminal Investigation Department since the 17th November 2012. Five of the suspects were employees of National Electoral Commission, (NEC). Sierra Leone Gender Watch is particularly concerned of the wellbeing of one of the detainees, a suckling mother of twins who has been denied access to her children since her arrest. SLGW highlights this as a serious breach of the United Nations Minimum Standards on Detention of Female prisoners.
Several civil society organisations, including AdvocAid, Amnesty International and Prison Watch have already condemned this action by Sierra Leone Police, and SLGW adds its voice to the call for justice.
SLGW calls on the Inspector-General of Police and the Attorney-General & Minister of Justice to immediately bring these women before a competent court of law or release them on bail.
Sierra Leone Gender Watch
(Online community of Sierra Leonean Women)
M A Iscandari - Legal Adviser