By: Nyima Sillah
Honourable Madi Ceesay, National Assembly Member for Serrekunda West Constituency has argued that the Ministry of Justice is responsible for the congestion at the Mile II Prison.
Honourable Ceesay made this statement on Thursday during the adjournment debate of the National Assembly.
“The Ministry of Justice is responsible for the congestion in our prisons. At one point in time, we had 180 detainees at Mile II Prison remand wing under horrible conditions.
“The Justice Ministry should do something about the congestion of our remand prisons. You go to Janjanbureh at a time in point 30 of them and some of these people have been in these conditions ranging from 2yrs to 14 good years under remand,” Honourable disclosed.
He emphasised that the longest person that is in remand is in his 14 years and the case is not concluded. “What kind of Republic are we in? What is the Ministry of Justice doing?” he questioned.
He said what the Ministry should do, is speed up the process of taking remand wing prisoners to court and make sure that the courts are not interrupted.
“I cannot understand how someone can be on remand for 14yrs,” he said inquisitively.
He went on that if that kind of prisoner is at the prison while new prisoners are brought into the remand wing, “definitely the wing would be congested that is why the wing is horrible.”
Meanwhile, he said the human rights violation at Mile II is keeping people at the remand wing unnecessarily. “I would say it’s unnecessary because I cannot understand how you can keep someone from 2-14yrs for me,” that is unreasonable.
He confirmed that “What is happening in Mile II, is the same thing that is happening at JanJanbureh prison. Janjanbureh Prison at one time there were 30 prisoners and the longest prisoner was there for 7yrs. I call the Ministry of Justice to decongest our prison,” he said.
He, therefore, suggested that to mitigate the congestion at the prison, the MoJ should come up with mechanisms where the judiciary can work efficiently so that cases are taken to court regularly and they should allow the court to continue without interruption.
“Justice delayed is justice denied. I, therefore, called the attention of the Vice President Alieu Bara Joof to call the Ministry of Justice to look into such cases, particularly the cases of those pending from 7-14 good years,” appealed.