By Mafugi Ceesay
The lead counsel of TRRC Essa M Faal, yesterday told journalists at a press briefing that a recent statement of the public relations officer of Prisons was “unnecessarily harsh and disrespectful”.
Mr. Faal stated that recently, in the exercise of its mandate and pursuant to its power to visit any place in the country, including without giving prior notice, the commission visited Jeshwang and Janjangbureh prisons after notifying the authorities.
“Soon after the visit, the PRO of the prison service made a press conference in which he lambasted the commission for what he termed an ‘unethical and uncalled for’ visit. On behalf of the commission, I want to state that the language of the PRO was unnecessarily harsh and disrespectful.
“The use of such strong and disrespectful languages should not be allowed in official discourse. Our country has gone through a lot in the not too distant past where public officials are not called out to be accountable for their deeds and where others with differences in opinion are treated with contempt and ridicule. Such behaviour from public officials is unacceptable,” Mr Faal said.
“The TRRC refused to respond at the time when the unwarranted statements were made just to diffuse the situation and avoid unnecessary escalation. It certainly would have been more helpful if the prison service had called the authorities in the commission to discuss their complaint,” he added.
In another development, Counsel Faal also clearly stated that he has no regret giving out a piece of land to the famous TRRC witness Mafugie Sonko, noting that Mr. Sonko is someone in need and there is nothing wrong in reaching out to such a person.