This page summarizes cases raised with Sierra Leone by the Special Rapporteur between May 1, 2011, (when the Special Rapporteur took up his functions) and February 28, 2017 (the date of the last public release of communications). Communications are released to the public once per year. This page also contains observations on these communications and on responses received from Sierra Leone.
Communications and observations are divided into sections based upon which observation report they originally appeared.
Each communication is referenced as urgent appeal (UA), allegation letter (AL), joint urgent appeal (JUA) and joint allegation letter (JAL) – the hyperlinks lead to these documents. This is followed by the date the communication was issued, as well as the case number and the State reply (also hyperlinked if available).
Summaries and communications are published only in the language of submission (in the case of Sierra Leone, English).
Joint urgent appeal, 23/9/2011. Case no. SLE 1/2011. State Reply: None to date. Alleged threats against human rights defender.
The Special Rapporteur regrets that no reply has been received from the Government of Sierra Leone to the communication dated 23 September 2011. He considers responses to his communications as an important part of the cooperation of Governments with his mandate, and urges the authorities to provide as soon as possible detailed responses to all the concerns raised in his communication.
The Special Rapporteur recommends to the Government to put in place an enabling and safe environment that is conducive to the free expression of civil society, including for associations such as the Women‟s Centre for Good Governance and Human Rights (WOCEGAR) that protect and promote the rights of individuals espousing minority or dissenting views or beliefs. A thorough and independent investigation into any allegations of any alleged human rights violations, including acts of intimidations or harassments, committed against those exercising their rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association, should be conducted; those responsible should be held accountable; and victims should be provided with full redress.
Responses to communications
The Special Rapporteur regrets to not have received a response to the communication on the case concerning Ms. Marie Conteh, national coordinator of the Women’s Centre for Good Governance and Human Rights, WOCEGAR (SLE 1/2014). He considers responses to his communications to be an important part of the cooperation of Governments with his mandate, in line with Human Rights Council resolutions 24/5 (2013), 21/16 (2012) and 15/21 (2010).
Environment in which members of associations can exercise their rights
The Special Rapporteur reiterates his concerns with regard to the alleged threats against Ms. Conteh due to her human rights activities. He reminds the Government of its obligation to respect and protect fundamental human rights, including the right of all individuals to freely associate. He underlines that this right involves the positive obligation to establish an enabling environment for members of associations to perform their activities without fear from threats or acts of intimidation and harassment of any sort. He also echoes the concerns of the Committee against Torture, the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women and the Human Rights Committee which reviewed Sierra Leone in the past year, and that mention, among others, continuous reports of violence against women and the lenient treatment of such crimes by the police (CCPR/C/SLE/CO/1, paragraph 15).
Response to communication
The Special Rapporteur regrets that, to date, no reply has been received to his communication SLE 2/2015. He recalls that responses to his communications are an important part of the cooperation of the Government of Sierra Leone with his mandate, and urges the authorities to comply with Human Rights Council resolutions on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association. These resolutions, including resolution 24/5 (2013), call on States to cooperate fully with and assist him in the performance of his mandate and to respond promptly to his communications.
The Special rapporteur reiterates his concern at the alleged systematic persecution of members of Malen Land Owners and Users Association (MALOA) through judicial harassment in relation to their legitimate land rights advocacy in the Malen region, exercising their right to freedom of expression and association.
He insists on urging that all necessary measures be taken to ensure that above-mentioned land rights defenders and supporters of MALOA are provided with all the due process guarantees of a fair trial, preventing their prosecutions serving, in practice, to stifle the legitimate exercise of their rights to freedom of expression and association, in performing their human rights advocacy work in relation to land rights.
He reminds the Government of its obligation to respect and protect fundamental human rights, including the right of all individuals to freely associate. He underlines that this right involves the positive obligation to establish an enabling environment for members of associations to perform their activities without fear from threats or acts of intimidation and harassment of any sort.
For the full reports, containing communications, replies and observations for all countries, see the following links: