In the context of the UPR, Amnesty International has made the following recommendations to Sierra Leone
Abuses by police and other security forces:
• To instruct the security forces to always act in compliance with international human rights law. They must respect the right to life, end torture and other inhuman and degrading treatment of suspects;
• To suspend from duty members of the security forces reasonably suspected of having committed offences under international law or other human rights abuses, until allegations against them have been independently and impartially investigated.
Ethnic-political violence and associated human rights violations:
• To uphold freedom of expression and assembly, including in the context of future electoral campaigns;
• To invite the UN Special Rapporteur on racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance to visit Sierra Leone;
• To end impunity and investigate, try, and punish those culpable for political-ethnic violence and human rights violations during the 2007 elections and thereafter;
• To investigate and punish incidents of political violence involving sexual violence, so that rape does not become a political weapon, as it was during the war.
Justice for serious past crimes
• To establish a comprehensive plan of action to investigate and prosecute all crimes committed in Sierra Leone for which impunity continues to exist;
• To bring to justice those suspected of having committed extrajudicial executions, torture, ill-treatment, rape and other grave human rights violations, in accordance with international standards of fairness;
• To ensure that the victims of human rights violations and their families can obtain full reparation in the form of restitution, compensation, satisfaction, rehabilitation and guarantees of non-repetition;
• To evaluate the government’s track record and make public its progress on implementing the TRC recommendations so far and publicly commit to further implementations in the future;
• To enact legislation to make war crimes and crimes against humanity crimes under national law.
Maternal mortality and morbidity
• To end harmful practices such as female genital mutilation and early marriage and to combat discrimination against women that prevents them from making key decisions on their health;
• To improve access to confidential family planning services and sexual and reproductive health services, and to promote women’s right to decide whether, when and how many children to have;
• To guarantee the availability and quality of maternal healthcare services: to address shortages of blood, skilled medical personnel and supplies, and poor health infrastructure or facilities, ineffective referral systems, and inequitable distribution of equipment and medicines;
• To retain skilled health professionals by offering them competitive conditions – particularly to go to under-served areas of the country to ensure equitable access to health;
• To reinforce transparency, information sharing, monitoring, and accountability by committing to regular payroll cleansing; monitoring and investigating shortcomings in the national health systems; responding to allegations of corruption, abuse of patients, non-availability of drugs, systematic malpractice, or other challenges with the support of a facility-level or investigative authority (which must be accessible, independent, well-resourced, and transparent, with a strong mandate, able to recommend remedies to improve delivery of health services.)
• To make complaint mechanisms available and inform patients about their right to redress;
• To commit to conducting timely district-level investigations into maternal deaths, to using “UN process indicators” to monitor the availability, utilization and quality of emergency obstetric care, and to improving reporting of deaths, including through civil registration systems;
• To accurately collect and report data on maternal mortality and morbidity;
• To engage with doctors, nurses, and other health professionals to ensure their active participation and full, informed, prior consent in reforms around pay, health/safety and working conditions;
• To address the effect of unsafe abortions on maternal mortality, reducing the incidence of unsafe abortions, including by providing safe abortion services to the fullest extent of the law.
The death penalty
• To immediately establish a moratorium on executions with a view to abolishing the death penalty as provided by UN General Assembly resolution 62/149, adopted on 18 December 2007, resolution 63/168, adopted on 18 December 2008, and resolution 65/206, adopted on 21 December 2010;
• To commute without delay all death sentences to terms of imprisonment;
• To immediately remove all provisions in national law which provide for mandatory death sentences, to restrict the imposition of the death penalty to only the most serious crimes, and to prohibit the imposition of the death penalty on anyone suffering from a mental disability;
• To ensure rigorous compliance in all death penalty cases with international standards for fair trial, including the rights to be tried before an independent, impartial and competent tribunal, to competent defence counsel at every stage of the proceedings, to adequate time and facilities to prepare one’s defence, to the presumption of innocence until guilt has been proved beyond reasonable doubt, to appeal to a higher court, and to seek pardon and commutation of sentence.
Ratification of international human rights instruments
• To promptly ratify and implement under national law the Agreement on the Privileges and Immunities of the International Criminal Court, the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance, the Optional Protocol to the International Covenant of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, opting-in to its inquiry and inter-state procedures, and the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, aiming at abolition of the death penalty.