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 AdvocAid Newsroom Press

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You can find all of our Press Releases and Announcements on the AdvocAid Blog, and follow the links below to read features and articles about AdvocAid’s work in the press.

Title: Tipping the Scales for Women in Justice

Publication: UK Government Legal Department

Volunteering for AdvocAid, a charity providing legal aid for women in prison in Sierra Leone, in 2012 was a fascinating lesson in the strengths and weaknesses of human nature and the justice system in desperate circumstances. Sadly, in a poor country with a corrupt justice system – where the police were living off the money made from unlawfully charging for bail – my experience was that the vast majority were not behind bars because they had committed a crime, but because of poverty and a lack of understanding of their legal rights.

Read more…

Title: Women are not offenders of crime compared to male

Publication: Awoko

Justice Nicholas Browne-Marke has said that women are not offenders of crime compared to their male counterparts who are found in conflict with most serious crimes. He noted that women are at times trapped in the law due to their vulnerability and low self-esteem caused by lack of education, among others. Justice Browne-Marke made this statement at AdvocAid Sierra Leone’s one day Duty Counsel Legal Aid workshop at the British Council Seminar Room, Tower Hill.

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Title: Strengthening Access to Justice – AdvocAid launches Police Case 2 TV drama

Publication: Awoko Newspaper

As their mandate is to strengthen access to justice for women and Girl-Child in Sierra Leone, AdvocAid yesterday (26th October 2015) launched a Television Drama Series titled “Police Case 2” to raise more awareness on civil right activities in the country. Police Case Season 2 mainly focuses on bringing out issues related to violation of peoples’ rights and justice…

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Title: Bribery a Huge Concern in Corruption Fight

Publication: All Africa

Head of the Sierra Leone Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) has told a galaxy of policy makers in the justice sector that the issue of bribery still remains a major concern in the fight against corruption. Commissioner Joseph Fitzgerald Kamara was speaking last Friday (23 October) at the formal launch of the ‘Pay No Bribe for Bail’ campaign initiated by AdvocAid Sierra Leone to seek justice for women and children in conflict with the law…

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Title: AdvocAid Awarded Second Namati Justice Prize Winner

Publication: Namati Justice Prize

The Namati staff who evaluated the entrants were enormously impressed with the high impact of this program working with women in prisons in Sierra Leone. AdvocAid’s work is highly scaleable, realistic, and delivers results. It employs a dynamic range of tools, including legal aid, legal education and a holistic approach to the needs of women in prison in a low-income setting like Sierra Leone…

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Title: Using popular culture to address legal rights education in Sierra Leone

Publication: Penal Reform International Blog

Women have a number of difficulties when they come to face to face with the legal system in Sierra Leone. To try to tackle some of these issues, the Sierra Leonean organisation − AdvocAid − is using popular media, from police dramas to music, to educate women about their legal rights if arrested or detained and improve their chances of a fair hearing. Here, Simitie Lavaly, AdvocAid’s Executive Director, introduces some of their recent initiatives…

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Title: Ebola in Sierra Leone – ‘we feel like a pariah nation’

Publication: The Guardian

On Monday, AdvocAid, an NGO that works with women and children in detention in Sierra Leone, was called on to help a woman threatened with prison for her behaviour outside a Freetown hospital. The woman, angry at being told to wash her hands for the 11th time that day, had refused to use one of the ubiquitous buckets of chlorinated water before entering the building…

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Title: Concerns Rise Over Ebola Crisis’ Effect on Sierra Leone’s Justice System

Publication: Voice of America

As Ebola cases have decreased in Sierra Leone, there is concern about how the crisis has affected the justice system. Longer jail times and what some say are unfair arrests have occurred.A state of emergency, which includes certain restrictions of movement, has been in place in Sierra Leone for almost a year. But because Ebola cases have decreased, some restrictions have recently been lifted.

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Title: Supporting Justice, Education and Reintegration for Female Detainees and their Children

Publication: AfroElle Magazine (p 27)

AdvocAid Founder Sabrina Mahtani and Executive Director Simitie Lavaly, talk to TadendaKanengoni about AdvocAid’s aim to strengthen access to justice for women and to empower them as active citizens through provision of education, welfare and post-prison support.

Read more…

Title: Law in a tome of Ebola

Publication: New Internationalist

When the Ebola epidemic escalated in Sierra Leone around June 2014 we wondered if we should close down our legal aid organization, AdvocAid. Many international NGOs were evacuating their international staff and many local NGOs started to restrict their activities. We decided to continue to operate and to see how, as lawyers and paralegals, we could best respond to this national emergency.

Read more…


 

Title: How a Visit to Death Row Inspired Sabrina Mahtani to work with women in prison in Sierra Leone

Publication: BBC Outlook (audio)

Listen here…

Title: AdvocAid visits Kenema

Publication: Premier News

The Executive of AdvocAid, a non-governmental organisation with Madam Sabrina Mahtani as Director, has paid a formal visit to Bo and Kenema to meet with paralegals and officials of the magistrate and high courts, prison and police.

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Title: Women, Debt and Detention

Publication: IRIN

Many Sierra Leonean women who are unable to repay small debts end up in prison for want of decent legal representation after their creditors report them to the police, meaning that civil disputes turn into criminal cases.In 2006 when AdvocAid began offering help to women imprisoned for debt defaulting and other offences…

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Title: Freedom from death row

Publication: BBC World Service (audio)

‘MK’ had spent six years on death row in Sierra Leone and resigned herself to a life behind bars.

Listen here…

Title: Human Rights Commission Holds Two Day Conference

Publication: Awoko Newspaper

The Human Rights Commission of Sierra Leone yesterday started a two- day National Conference on the theme: Advancing Legal Aid for Women’s Rights in Commemoration of International Human Rights Day on December 10.

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Title: Freedom After Four Years on Remand

Publication: Standard Times

On 29 September 2010, after four years on remand, FK, a female prisoner at Pademba Road Prion in Sierra Leone was dramatically sentenced and released from prison all in one day. FK’s tragic story started in August 2006 when she was arrested for murder after her partner of many years died in unfortunate circumstances

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Title: Freetown’s Female Prisoners

Publication: Tom Bradley Blog

I visited an art exhibition here in Freetown in mid-March that was put on by AdvocAid, a charity that helps to support female prisoners in Sierra Leone. The artwork was produced through a series of workshops by the prisoners themselves….

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Title: Pademba Road Inmates Benefit from Free Eye Care to mark World Sight Day

Publication: Awareness Times

As part of activities ahead of the World Sight Day and World White Cane Day on the 14th October, 2010, inmates with eye problems were given free examination and treatment by a group of health care providers. Leading the campaign at the prisons was AdvocAid…

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Title: A New Library for Pademba Road Prison

Publication: Pademba Library Blog

A blog written by Stevie Russell, a librarian from University College London assisting AdvocAid on a pro bono basis with this exciting project.

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Title: Paralegal Justice Services Expand Across Sierra Leone

Publication: Sierra Express Media

The number of paralegals providing free basic justice services in Sierra Leone will more than double next month, as donors join with non-governmental organizations and community-based groups to create a nation-wide network of legal assistance.

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SLBC News: Human Rights Day 2010

SLBC News: Prisoner Art Exhibition, 50 Years Forward