In Burkina Faso, the processing of court cases of more than 5,000 detainees is delayed by repeated strikes by law enforcement officials, according to the “black robes”.
The lawyers organized a protest march and held a sit-in in front of the Ministry of Justice in Ouagadougou, the capital, to denounce the “blocking of the judicial system” of the country.
“For six months, the entire criminal chain is blocked. It is impossible to visit detainees, to hear the implicated and hold hearings,” says the president of the Bar Association of Burkina Faso, Paulin Me Salembere, surrounded by his colleagues, in front of the seat of the Ministry of Justice.
“To date, 808 defendants are awaiting trial, there are 1,640 persons charged and detained, their cases are under investigation, 3,600 are imprisoned and sentenced, and the application of their punishment is hampered by the dysfunctions of justice,” lamented Mr. Salembere.
Mr. Batibie Benao, who took part in the protest, said that he had clients in detention and others who complained without seeing any sign of progress in handling their case because of repeated strikes in the judicial sector.
“I have records of detainees who will probably be released, most of them are civil servants,” he says, lamenting the delay in his clients’ hearings.
The lawyers handed the judicial authorities a memorandum containing their grievances. Issa Fayama, the cabinet director of the Minister of Justice, received the memorandum, assuring that it will be transmitted to the tutelage. The protest march of the lawyers took place after a “work stoppage” of 96 hours of justice workers.