The United Nations Integrated and Peace Building Office in Sierra Leone in collaboration with the Human Rights Commission, Civil Society, Human Right organizations and School pupils yesterday celebrated the 60th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Right at the main hall of Parliament Building, Tower Hill in Freetown.
Leon Jenkins Johnston Jr. from the Sierra Leone Bar Association used the occasion to express his dismay and frustration over the alarming rate of human right abuses in the country committed by some Government officials and unscrupulous individuals with impunity in the guise of orders from above.
He highlighted the ineffectiveness of the Sierra Leone Police and the partisanship of the Judiciary in dispensing Justice while mentioning several Human Right abuses of peaceful citizens by state actors.
He pointed out that the halting of the free flow of traffic during the Cocaine trial at Pademba Road and the Central Part of the City is a serious Human Right abuse.
Several statements were made by stakeholders on the level of human Right abuses in the Country and the need to improve on the country’s record. Honorable Elizabeth Lahai, Rev Moses Kanu all spoke about the need to domesticate some of the treaties and conventions signed for its implementation to the fullest.
Benedict Sannoh of the United Nations Human Right Office read the High Commissioners Message on the 60th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Right while the Presidential Affairs Minister Alpha Kanu delivered the keynote address on behalf of President Koroma.
As part of yesterday’s celebration, statements was also made by Government Officials; Members of the Diplomatic Corps; representatives of Civil Society Organizations and distribution of prizes to school pupils who participated in a Human Right Competition.
A theme song on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights composed by a group of Sierra Leonean Artists was also launched. Cultural performances by various groups and performances climaxed the ceremony.
By Saidu Bah