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On day 4, Laj's defense lawyer, Alfred Kamanda Esq., made some remarks concerning his client.

Mr. Ambrose Sovula, the Inspector General of the Sierra Leone Police Force, receives a letter from the Solicitor for Alhaji Amadu Bah alias LAJ. He detailed a variety of human rights breaches against his client, including shaved head, torture, denial of legal representation, and denial of access to his family. He stated that no charges have been filed against his client since his arrest, and that he has not been advised of his right to legal representation. He declared unequivocally that this is in violation of Sierra Leone's Constitution as well as other legitimate international human rights agreements to which the country has agreed.

The police confessed shaving LAJ's head in a press release dated June 18, 2022, however it was done in compliance with a particular Standard Operating Procedure of the stated prison facility.

Secondly, the Police have now finally informed the public through this release that LAJ is “under investigation by the Police for a felonious offence for which he could be kept in police custody while investigation is ongoing, for a period spanning up to ten (10) days.” 

The release further reads that “The Sierra Leone Police is currently investigating a case of Robbery with Violence involving LAJ”.

The Police have however not told us whether it’s part of the SOP of that detention facility to deny suspects access to their Lawyers and family members while being investigated. They have also not told us if it’s part of the SOP to not have communicated to the suspect the offence for which he was arrested and being investigated. 

They have also not told us the instrument used to shave their heads and whether one instrument was used to shave all of them in this world of HIV/AIDs and Hepatitis.

They have not told us if this SOP is in anyways supported by the Constitution or any other law. These are suspects held in your custody and I want to believe they are presumed innocent until proven guilty. Even men who are before the Court for the Misdemeanor offence of disorderly behavior were kept in that special facility with special operating procedures and were shaved. How can they be kept in a specialized facility with Standard Operating procedures and one of those dictates shaving the heads of all male detainees when they are just suspects and had no opportunity of meeting with their lawyers? The said shaving is done under very unhygienic conditions I want to strongly believe. 

This is my first time of hearing of a facility in Sierra Leone where suspects are kept in a detention facility with a Standard Operating Procedure that dictates all male detainees in the said facility must have their heads shaved 🪒! This is scary and a huge insult to our collective intelligence. It is a shame I must admit! I knew we have moved pass this after we all agreed to move pass this and restructure our security sector to be people centered after the eleven years civil war. 

The Police under Pa Kabbah was trained and empowered in many ways. We saw a force for good and we were confident we will never go back to the era of Sheki Police! I was wrong and we were wrong! 

Mr. President, (“Father of Democracy”) that facility has no place in modern Sierra Leone democracy and therefore should be closed effective immediately.

We have still not met with LAJ!


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