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NEWS : Local News  

In Sierra Leone, Civil Society Calls for Anti Discrimination Law
By Abdul Fonti
Oct 12, 2009, 12:14
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Various civil society groups across the country have requested the Attorney General and Minister of Justice to look into the possibility of drafting an Anti-Discrimination Bill for the consideration of Parliament with the view for possible enactment.


In a letter addressed to the Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Abdul Serry Kamal, the National Coordinator of Civil Society Alternative Process of Sierra Leone (CSAP-SL) said the request was derived from the need to support the governments pursuit of promoting stability, law and order and attitudinal change in Sierra Leone.


The letter pointed out that law and order, and national cohesion have considerably declined, as a result of what it described as the rise in the rate of banditry and unprofessional conduct of some public officials.


In recent times, Sierra Leone has seen an unprecedented rise in incidences of armed robbery with open armed attacks and looting of innocent citizens in Kono, Kenema, Bo, Lunsar, Lungi, Freetown, Makeni and other areas of the country sometimes in broad day light. This coupled with the high level of youth unemployment, high cost of living and economic hardship facing citizens countrywide is a cause for alarm for civil society, an excerpt of the letter states.


The civil society believes that the ugly situation partly emanates from discriminatory and unprofessional conduct of many officials holding public offices that gives freedom to a privileged sub-group of the population to commit crimes with impunity.


For example most of the incidences of gun robbery reported involved criminals in police uniforms, pointing at the need to address indiscipline in the police. Again ou
r data indicate that almost all of the technocrats dismissed from jobs for some years now were victimized because of their regions of origin or political beliefs, and the perpetrators of these discriminations go unpunished, the letter pointed out.


According to the letter, the enactment of Anti-Discrimination Act will declare segregation and nepotism on every basis unlawful.  


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