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Sierra Leone: Government rejection of important constitutional review recommendations a missed opportunity to strengthen human rights protection

Following the rejection by the government of over 100 of the 134 recommendations of the Constitutional Review Committee, Sabrina Mahtani, Amnesty International West Africa Researcher said:

“The response by the government of Sierra Leone to the Constitutional Review Committee recommendations is hugely disappointing and is a missed opportunity to strengthen human rights protection for the next generation. It rejected over 100 of the 134 recommendations, such as abolition of the death penalty, and enshrining provisions on economic, social and cultural rights and equality for women.

The response by the government of Sierra Leone to the Constitutional Review Committee recommendations is hugely disappointing and is a missed opportunity to strengthen human rights protection for the next generation
Sabrina Mahtani, Amnesty International West Africa researcher

“We urge the government to reconsider its position and to provide Sierra Leone with the rights based constitution it deserves. We also remind them of their ongoing obligation to uphold the rights enshrined in the international treaties it has ratified.”

Background

A Constitutional Review Committee (CRC) of more than 80 people conducted extensive consultations across the country and produced a 680 page report with various recommendations to review the 1991 Constitution.
The process began in July 2013 and the final report was presented on 24 January 2017.

The government published its official response to the recommendations of the CRC in a White Paper dated 10th November 2017. The next step will be for the government to table a Constitutional Amendment bill before Parliament. Concerns have been raised that the government will attempt to do this before Parliament is dissolved tomorrow before the March 2018 elections.