The Human Rights Commission in Sierra Leone (HRC SL) has explained its mandate to the people of Port Loko.
The one-day programme attracted paramount chiefs, Regent chiefs, councillors and other stakeholders in the district. According to Commissioner Joseph Stanley, the commission was established to promote a national culture of human rights following the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s report.
He said, “we also investigate allegations of human rights violations, promote the respect for human rights through public awareness and education programmes, and visit prisons to report on condition”.
The chairperson of the commission, Mrs Jamesina King in her presentation, spoke of the commission’s independence.
She emphasized that the commission would not be subjected to the control of any authority even if such body provided financial support to the commission.
She said, “the commission has jurisdiction over all rights guaranteed by the constitution and international agreements to which Sierra Leone is a party, even though it cannot investigate matters decided by a court of competent jurisdiction or any human rights violation that occurred before 26th August of 2004.”