THE NEED TO IDENTIFY AND BURY THE DEAD AND RELEASE PARENTS AND CHILDREN CONNECTED TO ALLEGED INSURGENTS

The Public is informed that a Court Martial was held from 5th February to 30th March in connection with the 30th December insurgency.

Lieutenant Colonel Sarjo Jarju, Lieutenant Buba Sanneh and Private Modou Njie received the death penalty as their highest punishment, while Captain Abdoulie Jobe, Captain Buba K. Bojang and Lieutenant Amadou Sowe received life imprisonment as their highest punishment. They all have a right to appeal in accordance with section 118 of the Armed Forces Act and section 130 subsection (2) of the Constitution.

The major concern confronting Foroyaa is the absence of a coroner’s inquest to identify the bodies of the alleged insurgents who were killed and establish the cause and circumstances of death to facilitate the legal basis for their final burial. We thought that this issue would arise during the court martial. Since we have no way of knowing whether the dead did feature in the testimonies of the prosecution and defence witnesses, it is still not clear what the status of the dead bodies is. Silence over them should end. Something should be said and done after the trial.

In the same vein, the parents and children of alleged insurgents are still under detention after many months without trial .This constitutes inhumane treatment. Something should be said and done to end their suffering. All human beings are entitled to liberty and security of persons. None should be arbitrarily detained.

In the absence of a Human Rights Commission, the executive should act to ease their suffering. Families should also resort to constitutional provisions to seek legal remedies.