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Sierra Leone News: I believe in the death penalty – Palo Conteh

Palo Conteh

Palo Conteh

As the rate of stabbings and violence by cliques and gangs increased, the Minister of Internal Affairs, Rtd Major Alfred Palo Conteh, has disclosed, “I believe in the deadly penalty.”
According to the former Minister of Defense, during the “Good Morning Show” on Radio Democracy 98.1, the solution to the current inhuman acts by these lawless gangs is to implement the death penalty, which is still part of the laws of Sierra Leone.
He said his statements were his personal opinion and not official government position. According to Minister Conteh, there has been a sharp increase in the cases of stabbings to death by members of cliques during the Easter and Independence celebrations.
According to the Human Rights Commission, the death penalty should not be used in Sierra Leone. They have advocated for the repeal of the capital punishment laws, by encouraging the Government to pay special attention to the submission made by the Italian Foreign Minister Emma Bonnino, in addressing the issue of death penalty.
The Government Pathologist, Dr. Owizz Koroma, confirmed that the death rate of stabbing before the gallows was cleaned was very high and after the cleaning process it cut down drastically from 40 to something like 11.
Seeking the opinions of people along the streets of Freetown on the use of the death penalty, almost all of them are in support of the death penalty as the fastest solution to the current situation.
According to Maseray a trader along the popular Abacha Street, most of them are afraid of putting on coloured clothing at night because of fear of facing untimely death by the clique guys who will deliberately perceive the person wearing the clothes of belonging or supporting an opponent group. Confirming the situation, the Deputy Head of Media of the Sierra Leone Police, Inspector Michael Kelly Dumbuya, disclosed that they are presently investigating cases of murder relating to stabbing during the Easter and Independence celebrations.
The Amnesty International submission to the UN Universal Periodic Review of January to February 2016, stated that ‘Sierra Leone retains the death penalty for treason and aggravated robbery and it remains mandatory for murder”. According to the report, there is currently a moratorium on capital punishment in place and several death sentences have been commuted.
In May 2014, the former Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Frank Kargbo, told the UN Committee against Torture that Sierra Leone would shortly abolish the death penalty through a revision of the Criminal Procedure Act, but to date no action has been taken to that effect.
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) recommendation 54 calls for, “the abolition of death penalty and the immediate repeal by Parliament of all laws authorizing the use of capital punishment. It also notes, the right to life should be enshrined in the Constitution and no one shall be punished by death.
During the consultation exercise on the Constitutional Review Process by Campaign for Good Governance, majority of the respondents maintained the death penalty should remain in the country’s law books.
By Alhaji M. Kamara
Friday May 05, 2017.

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