COULD SOLDIERS BE DETAINED UNDER THE ARMED FORCES ACT WITHOUT TRIAL?

QUESTION OF THE DAY

COULD SOLDIERS BE DETAINED UNDER THE ARMED FORCES ACT WITHOUT TRIAL?

The answer to this question is in the negative. The Armed Forces Act cannot be superior to the Constitution. All soldiers should be taught the letter and spirit of the Armed Forces Act and that of Chapter 4 of the 1997 Constitution.

It is abundantly clear that under section 24 of the Constitution an accused person must be presumed innocent until proven guilty or one pleads guilty. He or she is entitled to bail while on trial. Hence a person who is not charged with a crime is innocent and no law enforcement officer or member of the disciplined force should allege any criminality in respect to such a person.

An allegation of criminality in public against a person, civilian or military without charges being preferred would constitute the violation of the right of a person. Hence from henceforth Foroyaa will not publish opinions that are prejudicial to the rights and integrity of persons under detention that amounts to mere pretexts to justify the detention of a person without trial.

We hope that as provided by section 17 of the Constitution the rights of all citizens irrespective of whether they are civilians or military personnel are entitled to fundamental rights as citizens.

We will further publish relevant portions of the armed Forces Act which seek to protect soldiers from any abuse.