This case was filed on September 2, 2021 before the ECOWAS Court. The victim was allegedly raped on in January 2019 by a Paramount Chief of her community. Though she reported the incident and took several medical tests proving she was assaulted, there has been no effective investigation till date and the perpetrator has not been punished. The victim feels frustrated by her inability to get justice for the violence she suffered, believing the perpetrator has escaped punishment due to the power he wields.
The suit alleges that due to the lack of effective investigation and prosecution of the perpetrator, Sierra Leone has violated the victim’s right to remedy and access to justice and has also failed in its rights to dignity and to freedom from torture, cruel, inhumane, and degrading treatment, as well as discrimination. Rights and obligations enshrined in several treaties to which Sierra Leone is party, notably the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights, the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa, the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women and the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights.
According to the Premier News, the Plaintiff requests the ECOWAS Court to declare Sierra Leone is liable for these human rights violations; to order Sierra Leone to pay the victims monetary compensation for damages suffered, to provide the victims medical and psychosocial support, and to put in place several other structural measures to curb the prevalence of all forms of sexual violence against women.
On March 24, 2022 the Case was heard. Plaintiff Counsel presents arguments in absence of Respondent. Case adjourned to 16 June 2022 for judgement.