“I have been diagnosed with prostate cancer in jail. I have to urinate every 30 minutes” Kamaremba
By Alpha Kamara-NYU
Human Rights advocates from the Campaign for Human Rights and Development International (CHRDI), including the Chief Executive, Abdul M. Fatoma, visited jailed opposition leader Mohamed Kamaraimba Mansaray. The team’s visit was to look at the health condition of the opposition leader who has been in jail for over one and a half years.
Mansaray on the 17th July 2020, was arrested after a police complaint was filed for an alleged sexual penetration of a 15 year old school girl. He was charged to court four days later. Mansaray has denied all the allegations against him.
On the 7th September 2021, he was granted bail, but he still remains in detention in Freetown on the grounds that ‘he failed to meet his bail conditions’. The visit has been described by the CHRDI team as very useful because it says it offered them the opportunity to form an opinion or make conclusions on the situation. The CHRDI team said, they learnt during their visit, that the opposition politician has serious medical challenges, which needed immediate attention.
Mansaray told CHRDI that he has spent a year and half in detention and has been diagnosed with prostate cancer by two medical doctors. “Because of my medical condition, I have to urinate every 30-40 minutes. If I fail, I will urinate on myself,” he said. Kamaremba added that a year ago, a neurologist recommended to the correctional services that he should have a surgical operation, but that request was also denied.
Kamaremba added that in October 2021, a very senior official at the correctional services told him to raise funds for his medical laboratory test as the facility is unable to provide him with such. He said by December 2021, he raised close to six million Leones from friends and family, but claimed that money was taken away by a senior official on ground he did not know.
Asked about his bail bond, Mr. Mansaray said, he had fulfilled his bail conditions, but he is still in detention on grounds he is not aware of. He added that prison officers always listens to his conversations with visitors which violates his right to privacy.
CHRDI draws attention to the UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners, which establishes standards on a range of matters. They include accommodation conditions, adequate food, personal hygiene, clothing and bedding standards, medical services, and disciplinary procedures. “These rules are now complemented by the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. This obliges States to set up preventive monitoring mechanisms to maintain detention standards,” it said. CHRDI expresses disappointed and denounce the service and conditions of the facilities for both security personnel and the inmates and calls for proper improvement of the detention centers.