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Special Court Launches New Booklet

21 February 2006 at 06:59 | 381 views

Special Court for Sierra Leone Press and Public Affairs Office

PRESS RELEASE Freetown, Sierra Leone, 17 February 2006

Special Court Launches International Humanitarian Law

The Special Court’s Outreach Section has launched a new booklet on international humanitarian law, aimed at increasing knowledge of the obligations of states and combatants during times of conflict. The booklet, “Wetin Na Intanashכnal Umaniterian Lכ?” (International Law Made Simple) was formally unveiled by Sierra Leone’s Chief of Defence Staff on Thursday at a ceremony in Freetown attended by Interim Registrar Lovemore Munlo, SC and Outreach officials. The book draws on the expertise of the Special Court’s Office of the Prosecutor and Defence Office, the Outreach Section, the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Sierra Leone Red Cross Society.

Illustrated with drawings by a local artist, it provides a straightforward and easily understood explanation of the major principles of international humanitarian law. Outreach Coordinator Binta Mansaray said that the booklet is aimed at Sierra Leoneans with limited literacy or limited knowledge of international humanitarian law.

"We hope to increase Sierra Leoneans knowledge of International Humanitarian Law, helping them understand that even in wartime, soldiers and civilians have rights and obligations,” Ms. Mansaray said. The book complement’s the Outreach Section’s very successful booklet, “Wetin Na Di Spεshal Kot?” (The Special Court Made Simple) which over the past two years has been distributed to school children and other groups around the country. Starting today, the initial printing of 1,000 copies will be distributed by Special Court district outreach officers and civil society partners, especially in the provinces.

Eventually, 100,000 copies are to be distributed nationwide.

The Special Court is an independent tribunal established jointly by the United Nations and the Government of Sierra Leone. It is mandated to bring to justice those who bear the greatest responsibility for atrocities committed in Sierra Leone after 30 November 1996. To date, the Prosecutor has indicted eleven persons on various charges of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and other serious violations of international humanitarian law. Nine indictees are currently in the custody of the Court.

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