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Deportees Decry Sierra Leone Government

Deportees Decry Sierra Leone Government

Two foreign national deportees, Saren Idaho, a Dominican, and Prince Arkman Latoya from The Bahamas, in the Caribbean, have complained that the Government of Sierra Leone (GoSL) has neglected their human rights since their incarceration at the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) in Freetown.

According to Latoya who is always praying together with colleague for the GOSL to approve their return back to their countries of choice alleged that, the American Government connived with the Sierra Leone Embassy in Washington DC to grant their deportation in 2012.

The Caribbeans said their national constitution dictates that citizenship may be denied from a citizen if he or she leaves the country to stay in to another country for consecutive twenty years without visiting home, “that was exactly what happens to me”, he told media practitioners.

Mr. Latoya said they were taken direct to Ivory Coast from America where the Government of Ivory Coast denied his stay as they quickly discovered that they are not citizens of their country, noting that they were then sent to Nigeria, Ghana, and Kenya where they were also turned down and later brought and handed over to Sierra Leone, “Here we are allowed to stay instead of them taken the action of other countries or refuse their stay,” he stated and highlighted that they were brought to Sierra Leone since August 14th, 2019.

In a sad mood, Mr. Latoya said on their greatest amazement, GoSL paid for only three days charges at Charms Hotel on Kallon Drive, Aberdeen in Freetown and abandoned them, emphasizing that they were told by Government authorities that they would be receiving twenty five thousand Leones (Le 25, 000) each per day for their daily bread, but it never put in to action.

He extended gratitude to the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) Sierra Leone Correspondence, Umaro Fofanah as the only philanthropist who visited and gave one million Leones to each for food and clothing and also paid two weeks hotel fees for them. He shed tears that they would be thrown out of the hotel at anytime for the fact that he said, they have exceeded time at the hotel without honoring bills.

He recalled that on February 12th, this year, they had meeting with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Corporation (MOFAIC) and Office of National Security to see to their plight but their voices were not listened to. “We are not citizens of this country and have nothing to do here,” He concluded.

On his submission, the Dominican, Saren Idaho cried that his health condition is depreciating by the minute as a patient suffering from Diabetes. He said, “I am taking insulin four times every day to lower sugar level but it has finished, I cannot walk upright and I have heart problem,”.

He vehemently told the Government “Killed us than to torture us like slaves,” and described Sierra Leone and the Government as terrible and worst place to live. He called on President Julius Maada Bio to take action and do the right thing to secure their freedom and further discussed that in October, 2019, the State Prosecutor, Adrian Fisher and other Government officials told them that the Government would provide them with travel documents if they could afford to buy tickets. But since then, he said the officials never showed up for proper arrangement for them to go. He described their detention at CID as illegal and unlawful because he said, “Our human rights have been violated,”.

Mr. Idaho queried, if this country cannot afford three thousand dollars for each to ensure their successful return to their countries and sensitized the Government to stop dancing to the tune of America. He concluded by calling on the country’s decision makers to stand up and never allow the country to become a dumping ground.

He buttressed that they have visited the foreign ministry and Social Welfare to come to their rescue but no positive result in the end.

By Abdulai Mento Kamara

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