The Special Court of Sierra Leone yesterday launched the Braille version of the Sierra Leone which is aimed at helping the visually impaired to know about the country’s law and system.
In launching the transcribed Braille version, the prosecutor of the court Stephen Rapp said that the court is in partnership with the people and the international community stating that the court believe they had an obligation to help the people of the country and so they are trying to support local organization and those who need help special assistance.
Mr. Rapp maintained that since the inception of the court they have been in partnership with the Milton School for the blind adding that it was during the last end of year visit to the school, that the Special Court decided that there is need for the Blind school to have a transcribed version of the constitution in a Braille version.
The prosecutor singled out Thomas Alieu who wanted to study law but could not because of the materials and books for studying law are not in Braille.
Mr. Rapp said that blindness is not a disability but has to be overcome by all means.
The constitution he went on is a very important document as it lays out the rights and responsibilities of a citizen adding that the constitution stipulates that the government is not ruled by one man but by those elected.
Because of this Mr. Rapp went on every citizen has equal right to any document which is for their purpose that is why they have taken the first step to make sure that all important documents are available to all people in a form they can understand.
The Outreach Section Coordinator of the Special Court Patrick Fatorma in his statement said that the court has produced three books in Braille version for the blind. The first one was “Special Court made simple” which highlight the rules, mandate and work of the court, the second was “International Humanitarian Law made simple” which also helps the blind to learn about international humanitarian law. The reason he said for the production of these books is that he never before this time saw a book or material in Braille which is an indication that the visually impaired are not taken into consideration.
The court he went on is now at its final stage so they want to leave legacy behind so that the country will not return to its former violent state.
The chairman of National Commission for Democracy George Coleridge-Taylor when opening the session said the constitution transcribed in Braille version is a significant contribution to democracy in the country. Adding that the constitution is the basis of which the country’s democracy rest.
He said that the people who are not visually impaired do not know anything about the constitution and that they are not aware of their rights and responsibilities.
For good governance he said it is vital that people have access to the constitution which makes the citizen recover their position in the state so it is very important that it is has been transcribed into Braille version.