Following the death sentence passed on Baimba Moi Foray alias LA Chocolate and Foday Amara Kamara alias G-Fag, Amnesty International Sierra Leone (AISL) has re-echoed its call for the repeal of the death penalty.
Speaking to Awoko newspaper last Friday on the sentence, the Executive Director of AISL, Solomon Sogbandi said though the judgment was based on the laws of the country, it was “not fashionable in the 21st century.”
He stated that the death penalty should be replaced by life sentence, adding that seizing ones freedom is worse than killing the person and that even if he is released he is released after a long time, he would have lost touch with society. He furthered that, the State should be proactive in addressing the issue of violence rather than reacting to it. “Where we see the State implementing the death penalty, it is reacting to the violence in the country.”
He went on to say, “though many people are pushing for the death penalty because of what is happening among the youths, it is not a deterrent to youth violence in the country.”
“Killing for killing” Sogbandi said, will not solve the problem rather they should ensure that the youth understand the value system of the country.
He urged that, the laws which have death penalty attached to them be removed from our law books. Suggesting also, the Executive Director said the government should try to improve the working conditions of judges and other law enforcers; to ensure that they are well resourced so that they will perform well.
Sogbandi also stressed on the issue of political interference, saying “there should be no political interference in the justice system. We should capacitate the justice system and make them well resourced to stand up against their challenges.”
Amnesty international is among those organizations that have been calling for the repeal of the death penalty in the country. Since the truth and reconciliation commission made this recommendation after the country’s civil war over a decade ago; Sierra Leone is yet to abolish this law.
Meanwhile the public is waiting to see whether the said sentence on the two convicts will be implemented. The convicts were sentenced to death by hanging last Thursday .