Sierra Leone Police Board chairman – vice president Jalloh risks violating human rights – Op ed

Alpha Amadu Jalloh (The Fox): Sierra Leone Telegraph: 03 April 2024:

Vice President Juldeh Jalloh of Sierra Leone has made alarming calls that threaten the fundamental rights of Sierra Leonean citizens. His remarks, advocating for the denial of bail and the incarceration of individuals accused of involvement in the Koosh trade, not only betray a disregard for due process but also raise serious concerns about potential human rights violations.

The fight against Koosh, a deadly drug wreaking havoc on Sierra Leonean communities, is undoubtedly a critical issue that demands decisive action from the government. However, combating this menace should not come at the expense of basic human rights and the principles of justice.

President Julius Maada Bio’s administration has already faced criticism for its handling of the Koosh crisis. Instead of addressing the root causes and holding accountable those responsible for importing and distributing the drug, the government has engaged in a series of missteps and distractions.

President Bio’s focus on international affairs while neglecting pressing domestic concerns has only deepened public frustration.

At the recent Bintumani conference, touted as a platform for national dialogue and problem-solving, key individuals implicated in the Koosh trade were conspicuously absent from scrutiny.

The failure to investigate and prosecute these influential figures, including those with close ties to the president, raises troubling questions about the government’s commitment to tackling the issue effectively.

Vice President Jalloh’s statement further compound these concerns. By advocating for the denial of bail and calling for lengthy incarceration without due process, he risks legitimizing extrajudicial actions and undermining the rule of law.

Such rhetoric not only undermines the principles of justice but also sets a dangerous precedent for the abuse of power by law enforcement agencies.

It is essential to remember that every individual is entitled to the presumption of innocence until proven guilty in a court of law. Denying bail and imposing harsh penalties without due process not only violates this fundamental principle but also undermines the credibility of the justice system.

As the second-highest official in the Republic of Sierra Leone, Vice President Jalloh must exercise caution in his statements and actions.

His role carries significant responsibility, including upholding the rule of law and safeguarding the rights of all citizens.

By advocating policies that infringe upon these rights, he risks undermining the very foundation of democracy and justice in Sierra Leone.

It is incumbent upon Vice President Jalloh to retract his statements and reaffirm the government’s commitment to upholding human rights and the rule of law.

Furthermore, the government must prioritize a comprehensive and transparent investigation into the Koosh trade, holding all perpetrators accountable regardless of their political or social status.

In the fight against Koosh and other threats to the well-being of Sierra Leonean citizens, the government must demonstrate unwavering commitment to justice, accountability, and respect for human rights.

Anything less would be a betrayal of the trust placed in our leaders and a grave disservice to the people of Sierra Leone.


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