In their attempt to muzzle freedom of expression
Bar Association Slams Sierra Leone Police
In response to the Press Release put forward by the Sierra Leone Police (SLP) on the 20th July, 2018, The Sierra Leone Bar Association (SLBA) has adequately sets the records straight by clarifying certain anomalies by the former institution. The Bar Association professionally used their legal expertise to commence by substantiating on the last statement on that purported Release having the tendency to create insecurity, instability and fear in the minds of the people with its last strong statement- “you have been warned”. According to the SLBA that is composed of legal luminaries, the content in that release is a mere unwarranted speculation with the effect of stifling FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION with special reference to the Public Order Act of 1965 and Section 25 of the 1991 Constitution of Sierra Leone. The Police are misinterpreting reasonable justification in tandem with commenting on national issues of relevance by the general public and the Media houses. (Photo: IG SLP, Dr. Richard Moigbe)
In accordance with the timely response put forward by the prestigious Bar Association, the unanimous concern raised by the populace is the attempt of the Sierra Leone Police to infringe on their democratic rights to deliberate on burning issues especially the alarming economic hardship that is currently eating the fabrics of the people of this country all in the name of Regime change. Referencing paragraph 3 on that Press Release, the SLBA referred to that portion as very alarming, owing to the fact that there is no evidence on the SLP’s press release, there is no specification and thus unsubstantiated “ tension, chaos and instability” and must not be used as pretext to muzzle freedom of speech and expressions. Using discussions or broadcasts on FM 98.1, AYV television, Presidential Executive Orders, the GTT Report, removal and appointments of Ambassadors and deputies, removal of fuel subsidy and other inciting statements as having the tendency to create instability and mayhem in the country is tenaciously referred to as unfortunate, lacks substantiation and specification to deduce any element of truth.
The IMC Act of 2000 clearly stipulates to provide credible and objective information, news and analyses without fear or favour by all media houses. The inappropriate outburst of the Press release put therein by the SLP is a complete mismatch with regards planning in progress by the SLPP government to update her subjects on their 2018 elections campaign promises made. The huge presence of the police on Tuesday 17th day of July,2018 in a peaceful protest by just a cross section of patriotic citizens, in treaty with the recent removal of the fuel subsidy which is adversely affecting the livelihoods of the commoners has been vehemently condemned not only by the legal luminaries but also by the general public.
However, the Sierra Leone Bar Association has emphasized on the fact that Sierra Leone is a democratic state with Rule of Law and respect for Human Rights though there are exceptions and is urging the Sierra Leone Police to continue to conduct themselves in a professional manner applicable to the Public Order, arrest, detention, national security and the observance of Human Rights. Most importantly, the SLBA is assuring the general public of a peaceful democratic dispensation with the tenets of democracy to be fully implemented. By and large, the just mentioned credible Association is urging all citizens to remain peaceful, law abiding, patriotic, respect the rights of others and be responsible and work with the Force for Good ( the police) in that regard.
By: Allieu Lamin Kamara
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