Sierra Leone Telegraph: 19 August 2021:
2018 presidential election candidate for the Alliance Democratic Party (ADP) in Sierra Leone, Mohamed Kamarainba Mansaray may die in prison, if steps are not taken to urgently release him on bail so he can obtain medical care.
Kamaraimba who is facing charges under Sierra Leone’s Child Protection laws has been locked up in jail for the past thirteen months without bail, whiles attending court hearing, which many believe to be politically motivated.
According to reports, Mohamed Kamarainba Mansaray was unable to attend court on Monday, 16th August, due to his failing health which it seems the authorities are treating with utmost contempt for political reasons.
The Court Clerk said that a medical report was sent by the Sierra Leone Correctional Services (SLCS) saying that Kamarainba is unwell and could not attend court hearing Monday.
Sources close to the politician say that his health deteriorated significantly last weekend, and he has not eaten since Saturday 14th August and can barely walk inside his cell at the Male Correctional Center.
Mohamed Kamarainba Mansaray was detained in July 2020 over allegations involving a minor, and has since been kept in detention without bail.
Many in Sierra Leone believe that the ADP Party leader is being treated like a convict even though section 23(4) of the 1991 constitution of Sierra Leone grants presumption of innocence until proven guilty by the courts.
They also say that Section 79 of the Criminal Procedure Act is very clear on who should be granted bail. Therefore, Section 79 (1,2,3, and 4 ) should be applicable in this case, though the final discretion rests in the hands of the presiding judge.
In the case of the ADP Leader, his supporters say that he is not a flight risk and has no reason to abscond if granted bail, and that the presiding judge should consider Kamarainba’s deteriorating health, otherwise he may die in prison.
“The Sierra Leone Judiciary under the leadership of Desmond Babatunde Edwards are killing Mohamed Kamarainba Mansaray slowly at the Pademba Road Prison. This is pathetic and disgraceful for our entire justice system in Sierra Leone. Most of our Legal luminaries – Lawyers, Magistrates, Judges, Human Rights Advocates and others, are sitting idly by and watch total injustice in the Judicial system they vowed to protect,” says Dr Matthew Sessay.
An appeal is being made to the Chief Justice – Babatunde Edwards of Sierra Leone to intervene, so that Kamarainba can be granted bail on strict bailing conditions to enable the politician obtain medical assistance.
There is no way that Kamarainba can deny having sex with the minor in question and try to get away with it because he claims to be a politician. I hope that he rots in jail.
This is an emotionally charged case, especially when minors are involved. Serious consideration has to be given to both the accuser, and the accused, in this case Mr Mohamed K Kamara. The accuser if they felt they have been wronged by the accused, have the right to make the accusations with strong evidence to backup their claims. And according to the laws of Sierra Leone, an accused person is inocent until they are proven guilty. Now given in the case of the State of Sierra Leone versus Mr Mohamed K Mansaray’s detention from july 2020 dening bail or the writ of Habeas Corpus(“To bring a prisoner or a detainee before the court to determine if the person’s imprisonment or detention is lawful) And according to International human rights standards,” Any one acting on behalf of the accused may petition the court, or a judge, for a writ of habeas corpus to be be granted to the accused.
Now the longer Mr Mohamed K Mansaray spend in detention with out an application of the due process of the, for which the law is framed and passed by an Act of Parliament, any delays or obstructions placed by the State in respect to his rights like any other Sierra Leonean citizen, will be seen by many tantamount of abuse of our justice system by those entrusted to interpret the laws of land with out any fair or favours. As the farmers of the law, the legislative branch of the government, there assumptions when they are making the laws and passing through acts of Parliament, the laws the land should rein supreme. Everyone is protected before the eyes of the law.And no one is above the law. Whether you are the President or a Fulani herdsman like me, we should all be treated equally before the law. So continued detention of Mr Mansaray, denying him the right to have his day in court, is not only a violation of his human rights,but his continued detention raises serious legal issues.
Today might be Mr Mohamed K Kamara, but next time you will be picked up by our police, for different reasons, and you still have to go through the judicial process that was applied in this case. Now been leader of an opposition party should not feature in any future deliberation on this case. Mr Mohamed K Kamara the accused should be seen as Mr Mohamed K Kamara the accused. Anything sort of that, will futher muddy the waters of our judiciary. Many will start to wonder if his case is not being seen or heard like that.