March 24, 2023


Sierra Leone Entertainment News

AdvocAid calls for presidential pardon for female prisoner who was allegedly raped in custody by a police officer

AdvocAid has called for a presidential pardon for a female detainee who was allegedly raped by a police officer while in custody. This was found in a press release issued on February 27, 2023, where the organisation called for accountability and an end to violence by law enforcement officials.

The alleged victim, Baindu (not her real name), a single mother of a three-year-old boy was detained at the Pujehun police station for manslaughter. She told AdvocAid that her senior brother had asked her to help in caring for his ill child while he travelled. In the process of helping the sick child, Baindu mixed oral rehydration salt (ORS) with warm water which entered the child’s windpipe. She cried out for help and her aunt came to her rescue. The worried aunt tapped the child on its back, but unfortunately, the poor one-year-old child passed away. This landed Baindu in police custody. 

Baindu said that while she was in custody, she was raped on two occasions by a policeman, who was serving the night shift with his male colleagues. This matter was investigated by the Complaint, Discipline and Internal Department (CDIID) alongside the Family Support Unit (FSU) and the policeman was found guilty of five-count charges in addition. 

On June 27, 2022, the police officer was charged with rape and later released on bail. The information reached AdvocAid that he was neither suspended nor dismissed from the police force. To everyone’s surprise, he continued to work as a police officer in Bo. On November 7, 2022, the court hearing commenced at Pujehun High Court but the police officer did not show up, thus a bench warrant was ordered. He was then arrested and detained in Bo Correctional Facility.

During this time Baindu was detained for two months and was later sentenced to 15 years without legal representation. AdvocAid is helping Baindu in her case with the perpetrator and calls for a presidential pardon on her behalf at the same time. 

AdvocAid expressed concerns and calls for medical and mental health support for Baindu as she suffers the trauma of recent experiences.