Statement of the Resident Coordinator of the United Nations in Sierra Leone, regarding violent incidents, which occurred on 29 April 2020 in the Central Correctional Facility at Pademba Road in Freetown

Freetown, 1 May 2020. The United Nations in Sierra Leone expresses serious
concern over the violent incidents, which occurred on 29 April 2020 in the
Central Correctional Facility at Pademba Road in Freetown. The United
Nations regrets the resultant loss of life, injury and damage to property, and
further condemns all forms of violence. The United Nations extends its sincere
condolences to the bereaved families and wishes the injured speedy recovery.

The United Nations in Sierra Leone recalls the commitment made by the
Government of Sierra Leone, under international conventions and treaties,
including the Nelson Mandela Rules, to protect and respect the human rights
of all persons deprived of their liberty. It calls for prompt and full
investigations into the incidents so that the perpetrators of the violence may
be brought to justice.

More than ever, preventing the spread of COVID-19 should be the
overarching priority for institutions and individuals alike, which demands
consensus and unity of purpose among all sections of Sierra Leonean society.
To this end, the United Nations in Sierra Leone calls on all the political parties,
their followers, security agencies and the population at large to promote
respect for human rights while eschewing acts of incitement and other actions
liable to lead to violence and distract from the all-important fight against
COVID-19.

The United Nations in Sierra Leone continues to urge political parties and
other stakeholders to engage in meaningful dialogue and continues to stand
ready to facilitate such dialogue.