2011 Photo Contest, Daily Life, 2nd prize

Juveniles Behind Bars in Sierra Leone


Fernando Moleres

13 February, 2010

Pademba Road Prison, in Freetown, Sierra Leone holds more than 1,100 prisoners, including many juveniles.

About the photographer

Fernando Moleres

Fernando Moleres was born in Bilbao, Spain in 1963. He began work as a nurse in his home village, traveling in 1987 to pursue that calling in Nicaragua, during the Sandinista per...

Background story

Freetown, Sierra Leone Mohamed Kamara, 23, who has twice been in jail, is held in a punishment cell for possession of a phone in his cell. He says his injuries are the result of lashing form the guards; other prisoners say that he self-mutilates. Pademba Road Prison, in Freetown, Sierra Leone was built to accommodate around 300 prisoners, but now holds more than 1,100, including many juveniles. According to Sierra Leonean law, children under 17 should not be imprisoned with adults, but poor documentation means that it is not always easy to prove age. Youths can remain in jail for years while awaiting trial, as in some cases age must be proven before a trial can commence. Every day, dozens of juveniles on remand are taken to court, but many return without a decision being made and have to return on numerous occasions before a judgment can be reached.

Photo credit:
Laif Photos & Reportagen / Panos Pictures

Technical information

Shutter Speed
1/30 s
Focal length
50 mm

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