Ibrahim Sesay being interrogated by prisoners for the disappearance of a pair of slippers. Ibrahim was accused of stealing a mobile phone at his school. He was arrested in August of 2009 and spent eight days at the police station without food. The police report identified him as 19 years old instead of 14. He was sentenced to 18 months in Pademba prison.
The game of checkers is very popular in prison. Sometimes inmates gamble and often it ends with serious disputes and fights.
An officer in the registration room. In Pademba there are around 1400 prisoners and it is not easy to find a prisoner’s records. There are many similar names and surnames and it is evident that officers are careless and even negligent about maintaining the records. Their salary of 60 U$ per month doesn’t provide a lot of incentive to be diligent in their job.
Isaka spent several days lying on the floor of the infirmary balcony with severe dysentery. He was not able to stand up. He has not received visits since his imprisonment in 2008. He was accused of stealing fishing nets. His trial is pending.
Food scarcity requires to precaution to ensure food delivery. There is only one solid meal daily, consisting of rice and leaves. Juveniles are the big losers in the distribution of food and water. The distribution of water is a big problem with one third of a liter daily and that is not always guaranteed. If you have money you can buy water or food. But the vast majority of prisoners don’t receive visits and therefore have no access to money.
A 30 sq. m. cell for 60 inmates and 16 hours inside the cell. The toilets are a bucket or plastic bags. Most prisoners have scabies and others infectious skiin diseases. They spent eight months without receiving a bar of soap. The biggest problem is the lack of drinking water. Pre-trial prisoner block in Pademba.
Inmates bathing with rainwater. The raining season has benefits because the inmates can have a free bath. One of the main problems in Sierra Leone prisons is the lack of potable water. There is no running water. Sometimes there is no drinking water at all, except you have money. If you want to have a bath you need to pay 1000 leones (0.25U$) for a bucket. The raining season is a blessing time.
Abdul Sesay was jailed on July 26, 2010 in pre-trial section of Pademba prison , the maximun security prison of Sierra Leone. The day that I met him he had not eaten or had his daily allotment of water. Why? Because he was too small to fight for food.
Abdul Sesay was freed in October 2012 from his indictment. He entered the rehabilitation center of Saint Michael, where he took his first bath for a long time.
Abdul Sesay was accused of stealing a phone. He was incarcerated in Pademba prison. He was discharged at the trial in the juvenile court after I paid the cost of the mobile phone to the owner. The NGO Free Minor Africa accepted him into the social rehabilitation program. Here he is buying shoes for school.
Abdul with his new shoes. After five years without school, he now returns to the class under Free Minor Africa rehabilitation program. He is at class 5 of primary school with much younger students and he is living in Saint Michael center, 20 km away from Freetown.
Abdul Sesay at class 5 of primary school with much younger students. He is very keen to go to school and recover the lost time on the streets.
Abdul Sesay studying at Saint Michael center, March 2013, He is finishing primary school and wants to continue meanwhile is doing carving class in afternoons. Abdul is inside Free Minor Africa program to reintegrate in society after six years living on the streets and several times in prison.