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Source: Amnesty International –

Following a riot which took place yesterday in Sierra Leone’s biggest correctional service centre, reportedly resulting in the death of at least a prison officer, Marta Colomer, Amnesty International West and Central Africa Deputy Director, said:

“The first case of COVID-19 was reported in Freetown’s central prison on 28 April, causing alarm among people detained therein who live in severely cramped conditions. There have been some restrictive measures imposed by the authorities, including the prohibition of visits by their relatives.

Yesterday’s riot shows that prisoners are becoming increasingly desperate at the government’s inaction to protect their right to health. There must be a prompt, thorough, impartial and effective investigation into the reasons that led to the riot and the heavy-handed response from prison guards who used live ammunition.