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May 23, 2013
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News in 'Human Rights' section
There has been no let up in the controversy over the constitutionality of Sierra Leone’s criminal and seditious libel laws contained in the Public Order Act of 1965.
Former Information Minister Dr. Julius Spencer has filed a constitutional challenge at the Supreme Court, questioning the constitutionality of the law.
President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s approach to dealing with corruption and reconciliation got a scathing rebuke from her fellow Liberian Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Leymah Gbowee, as she resigns her post in Sirleaf’s government.
Speaking at her book launch in Paris, Ms Gbowee said she was resigning as head of the National Reconciliation Commission created by Sirleaf last year and that the Liberian leader has failed to fight corruption and nepotism.
Former Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo sits in a cell of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague awaiting trial, but back home the trial of one of his loyal military commanders kicks off in the capital, Abidjan.
General Dogbo Ble, former Commander of the Republican Guard, was a prominent figure in last year’s post-election violent conflict that engulfed Abidjan and left scores dead.
Though the Nigerian government has expressed displeasure over Saudi Arabia’s decision to deport some 1,000 Nigerian women who were en route to the pilgrimage to the Muslim Holy city of Mecca, a number of Nigerians hold a different view over the expulsion.
Visiting Mecca for the annual Hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam, provided a Muslim faithful has the finance and is in good health to make the pilgrimage.
Sierra Leone’s Human Rights Commission has released findings from a public inquiry into alleged gross violation of human rights in the mining town of Bunbuna, indicting the police for overreacting in quelling a violent strike at the local mine.
During the mine workers strike last April, violence erupted and left one person killed and several others wounded in Bunbuna, Tonkolili District, in the north of Sierra Leone.
An Associate Legal Officer of the Open Society Justice Initiative (OSJI), Maxwell Kadiri, has said there is a growing recognition of the right to information as part of the practice of democracy in Africa.
He said while laws exists in this regard, implementation in practical terms has been the challenge because many governments feel the less the people know, the better for them to perpetuate themselves in office.
An official of Ghana’s Health Ministry has said a Human Rights Watch (HRW) report on the abuse of mentally ill persons in psychiatric institutions and spiritual healing centers was “not entirely true”.
The rights group claims that the Ghanaian government has done little to combat such abuse or to ensure that these people can live in the community, as is their right under international law.
More than 2.69 million Sierra Leoneans are eligible to vote in the presidential and parliamentary elections slated for 17 November this year, according the voter roll released by the National Electoral Commission (NEC).
NEC Chairperson Dr. Christiana Thorpe told a news conference in Freetown Tuesday that 4 October has been set for nomination of presidential candidates and would be followed by nomination of parliamentarians across the country.
Over 80 stakeholders from West and Central Africa are attending a Regional Consultation on National Security and Freedom of Information convening in the Senegalese capital, Dakar.
Ten years ago today, the Senegalese nation was plunged into deep mourning, when the ferry Le Joola sank in the Atlantic Ocean en route to Dakar, the capital, from the southern region of Casamance.
When the full picture emerged as to what had happened to the government-owned ferry, hundreds of people had met their untimely deaths, leaving scores of families and loved ones bereaved.