Sir: Labour MP Andrew Mackinlay, in commentating on the execution of 24 Sierra Leone soldiers ("Cook may stop MPs quizzing African officials", 21 October) questioned "what sort of trials were held" in the capital.
Over the past four months the International Bar Association has sent trial observers to join the UN team monitoring treason trials in the High Court and courts martial in Freetown.
The observers' assessment was that Sierra Leone conducted fair trials under difficult circumstances. The courts martial procedure was fair and followed international standards but the IBA is concerned that its calls for an appeals procedure for those sentenced to death were not heeded.
International Bar Association
Sir: Margaret Thatcher has said that the Government has worsened the "problem" of single mothers by giving them benefit ("Thatcher to mums: go into a nunnery", 21 October).
Not that long ago, in Ireland, such mothers and children were sent to hostels run by the Roman Catholic Church.
The child was nearly always given up for adoption against the wishes of the mother and the women suffered terrible hardship and cruelty.
I find Thatcher's views so unsympathetic to the needs of single mothers that I wonder if she received this idea from a recent visitor to her house, Augusto Pinochet.
London W6Reuse content