Most Sierra Leoneans believe that the inception of the Special Court for Sierra Leone is very important as peace cannot be achieved without justice, it’s being disclosed in a report launched by the court’s Outreach Section on the public’s perception of the court.
On the understanding about the role of the court, many Sierra Leoneans reveal that the court has contributed to building peace after intense violence, and that the court is the most appropriate option for addressing crimes committed during the war.
During a survey, 85% of respondents agree that perpetrators of war crimes should be punished.
On stakeholders’ opinion about the court, 48% disagree on the use of the death penalty for addressing impunity, 44% believe in life imprisonment; 78% state that it will be fair and will send a deterrent message to potential perpetrators, while 68% indicate that the verdict will not raise tension in the country.
About 84% state that the verdict will support the process of peace consolidation in the country, and 80% believe that the trials will be fair.
As the report is based on the survey on the public’s perception of the court, the role of the Outreach Section was another area in which people were interviewed on. A high number of respondents state that they know about the Outreach and that that section has been to their various communities.
Most of the people interviewed commend the Outreach Section for its information dissemination concerning the court.
They explain that most of the information they receive about the court is through that section and that the section has been doing a very good job.