Sierra Leone’s Internal Affairs Minister Paolo Conteh has told a local radio in Freetown that the death penalty should be reactivated for people found guilty of murder in order to curb gang violence.
Sierra Leone still has the death penalty by hanging for those found guilty of murder and treason. But no one has been put to death since 1998.
“I have given instructions to the prison officers to clean and ready the tools and machines used to kill people, as reckless killing is on the increase. We have lost a lot of people through reckless killing and ended wasting resources feeding such prisoners for several years. This is unacceptable,” the minister told Radio Democracy in the capital Freetown.
The minister’s comments come in the midst of an increase in gang and political violence in the country.
Last week, two Sierra Leoneans were sentenced to death by hanging after they were found guilty of murdering a popular radio DJ in Freetown.
Conteh, who is also a retired major in the country’s military, said the death penalty will scare others who think taking others lives carelessly is justifiable.
“It’s in the bible, an eye for an eye. Our local people say kill a dog in front of another to know that death is real,” the Minister said.
This week, the Sierra Leone police issued a public notice to offer a cash payment of $400 to anyone providing information leading to the arrest of any clique and/or gang leader otherwise known as 5 “O” and their deputies.