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Sierra Leone
Saturday, June 25, 2022

Arresting and detaining an individual without reasonable grounds constitutes a breach of human rights. – Abdul M Fatoma

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Arresting and detaining an individual without reasonable grounds constitutes a breach of human rights. The attitude of the Sierra Leone Police (SLP), over the alleged unlawful arrest of a Sierra Leonean musician called L.A.J, is in direct violation of “United Nations Body of Principles for the Protection of All Persons under Any Form of Detention or Imprisonment” ADOPTED 09 December 1988, BY The General Assembly Resolution 43/173.

Principle 33

1. A detained or imprisoned person or his counsel shall have the right to make a request or complaint regarding his treatment, in particular in case of torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, to the authorities responsible for the administration of the place of detention and to higher authorities and, when necessary, to appropriate authorities vested with reviewing or remedial powers.

2. In those cases where neither the detained or imprisoned person nor his counsel has the possibility to exercise his rights under paragraph 1 of the present principle, a member of the family of the detained or imprisoned person or any other person who has knowledge of the case may exercise such rights.

In order to detain a person lawfully, police must have a reason for doing so. This might either be for public protection or where an individual is detained for their own protection and safety.

An arrest can be made via a warrant. If the police officer reasonably believes there are grounds to arrest someone, they can do so without a warrant, but they must be able to justify their action. In the absence of sufficient justification, the arrest is unlawful.

Calling on the Sierra Leone Police to release L.A.J and also respect his human rights and constitutional right(s), if they have no possible criminal charge(s) against him.


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