Open letter to His Excellency the president of the Republic of Sierra Leone Dr Ernest Bai KoromaHis Excellency The President of the Republic of Sierra Leone State House Tower Hill Freetown 25 November 2013.
RE: Security Threat on the Republic Of Sierra Leone
As a civil society organization working on drug, alcohol and violence across the nation we feel obliged to bring to your notice certain anomalies in the security sector.
Your Excellency, as an organization, we have been very vocal on police brutality in recent times. We have observed that the police have taken upon themselves to deprive the people the right to a peaceful demonstration, thus leading to the unwarranted death of peaceful protesters in Kono, Bumbuna, Wellington to name but a few. We would hereby like to draw your attention to the fact that in all democracies, citizens have the unfettered right to peaceful protest against injustice and other vices they perceive can derail their peace and development. Hitherto, these are issues you rallied against and vehemently defended during your tenure as Opposition Leader.
We have further observed that the police are lackadaisical in handling internal security issues. Our attention was drawn to the 21 and 22 November 2013 editions of the Satellite newspapers stating that a certain David, a West African citizen who came to Sierra Leone to report a looming security threat on the nation. In the event David was arrested and has been held detained for about two months now. We were greatly moved by his situation and made a follow up on the story. We subsequently contacted the Office of National Security (ONS) where a senior officer informed that David’s report had been assessed and did not constitute a threat to national security. If David’s report is not credible, why is he still behind bars? People are asking.
We further made frantic efforts to reach the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) to get their own assessment of the story but to no avail. However, we were able to contact the said David at the CID headquarters in Freetown on 22 November who told us that a consignment of drug and ammunition was stocked somewhere in neighboring Guinea with its ultimate destination being Sierra Leone.
In lieu of the above, we are humbly asking Your Excellency to take a second look at the police and security leadership, in view of the manner in which security situations are assessed, especially in the face of global terror threats. We are also kindly asking Your Excellency, being the Commander In Chief of our Defence Forces, to look into David’s situation with the aim of ascertaining the truth.
While looking forward to your kind consideration of the aforementioned issues, we would like to take this opportunity to renew to Your Excellency the assurances of our highest consideration.
Hindowa E Saidu, Executive DirectorCc: Director of Office of National Security Inspector General of Police Director Criminal Investigation Department Head of Delegation – DFID Head of Delegation- EU High Commissioner, British High Commission- Freetown The Ambassador of United States of America The Ambassador, German Embassy- Sierra Leone President Sierra Leone Association of Journalists FDID-SL 4 River Side Drive, Off Kingharman Road, Brookfields, P.O Box 1133 Freetown, Sierra Leone Cell: +232-76 -804-066 Email: fdidsl@gmail.Com, www.fdidsl.org
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