Sierra Leone Telegraph: 9 December 2019:
Tomorrow Tuesday 10th December, is International Human Rights Day, and the Human Rights Commission of Sierra Leone (HRCSL) and its Partners will join the international community to commemorate the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).
The UDHR was ratified by the United Nations General Assembly on the 10th of December, 1948, in response to the gross abuse of human rights committed during the Second World War.
According to the HRCSL , the theme for this year’s celebration is: ’Stand Up For Human Rights’ which has been adapted and localized in Sierra Leone as: ‘Stand up for Human Rights and Fight against Sexual and Gender Based Violence’. (Photo: Commissioners of the HRCSL – meeting president Bio after their appointment early this year).
HRCSL says that tomorrow’s commemoration will commence with a float parade starting from Siaka Steven Street, through to Campbell Street and unto to the British Council Auditorium, where statements from dignitaries will be delivered.
The HRCSL says that its message will call on the government of Sierra Leone
● and its partners to speedily set up a national laboratory to carry out forensic analysis on rape so that justice would be accurately served to all parties.
● to have a dialogue with our partners in the civil society sector in respect of the Development Corporation Framework (DCF) in order to achieve a win-win outcome for the benefit of our country men and women who remain in desperate need of our various interventions.
●to reopen the constitutional review process towards an enactment of a new constitution of Sierra Leone which would be able to address the many enduring and emerging constitutional issues since 1991
● to make a public pronouncement on the continuation of the moratorium on death penalty and urges same to take steps to expunge from our law books the death penalty.
The constitution review process which was chaired by the late Justice Edmund Cowan, at a cost of millions of dollars was indefinitely shelved by former president Koroma for no apparent reason.
But critics say that the former president abandoned the process, when it became clear that Justice Cowan had refused to increase the presidential term limit clause in the draft new constitution, which could have granted president Koroma an extended stay in power.
Earlier this year, president Bio announced that he will reopen the constitution review process, but is yet to do so.