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11th Day of Unconstitutional Detention Dr. Sylvia Olayinka Blyden Writes Police Bosses From Her Prison Cell

11th Day of Unconstitutional Detention Dr. Sylvia Olayinka Blyden Writes Police Bosses From Her Prison Cell

International Lawyers representing detained female journalist and powerful Sierra Leone politician Dr. Sylvia Olayinka Blyden have confirmed that they are in receipt of a copy of a letter written by Dr. Blyden to Sierra Leone Police Bosses questioning them to explain to her on which authority they have now detained her for 11 days when the Sierra Leone Constitution clearly states that nobody should be arrested by the Police for more than 72 hours unless it was for matters to do with capital offenses, crimes carrying life imprisonment, offenses of sabotage of Economy or the Environment. And even for the latter four categories, nobody should be detained beyond 10 days. This was all clearly stated by Dr. Blyden in her letter dated Monday 11th May 2020 that reminded the Sierra Leone police to reference their limitations under Section 17(3) of the Sierra Leone Constitution. It can be recalled that the astute, fearless and highly popular female politician who is also a journalist with a very large following of admirers and mentees, was picked up at her residence in Freetown on May 1st 2020 by several dozens of well-armed state Security operatives sent by President Maada Bio’s government. Dr. Sylvia Blyden, whose presidential ambitions are well –known, was not told why she was picked-up by the current President of Sierra Leone’s operatives within the police. She told the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists(SLAJ) that she was not even formally arrested but was “kidnapped” from her house by “over three dozen” well –armed men, in a manner that intimidated her entire neighborhood . Her International Lawyers based in Washington DC, London , Nigeria and the Hague have all confirmed that since May 1st 2020 when she was questioned by the Police on charges of “Writing too much” she had not been questioned again but her house had been ransacked upside down now on two occasions with the police releasing videos of the ransacking of her private house to the media to play on national TV and which then got shared all over the social media (Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp, etc.)

Her International Lawyers who are already in formal and non-formal communication with the Hague and ECOWAS Court on the harassment of their client, say they find the behavior of President Bio’s government to be deeply repulsive especially considering the fact that the targeted victim is not only a woman but also a woman who has bravely stated her Presidential ambitions.

Credible reports so far indicate that on the orders of President Bio’s government, Dr Sylvia Blyden has been subjected to deprivation of food and water for two prolonged periods now. The first time was for 48 hours when she was locked up inside a police cell with no FOOD and no water from Sunday 3rd May 2020 to Wednesday 5th May 2020. The second starvation has been for a period of 24 hours when she was again denied food and water behind bars between May 10th 2020 and May 11th 2020

Dr Blyden has also been subjected to very crude physical and emotional abuse including having her vagina forcefully examined on two occasions by female police officers acting on the orders of the police Inspector General (IG), Ambrose Michael Sovula. According to her International Lawyers, the Police IG Sovula said he had been informed by President Bio’s office at State House that Dr Blyden had a phone inside her cell that she was using to communicate. State House then ordered for the female politician’s vagina to be examined to check if the alleged mobile phone was hidden inside there. Despite a thorough body search and comprehensive search of her cells, (she was moved twice between different cells) there has been no evidence to substantiate the false claims that the female politician had any mobile phone on her.

Her International Lawyers, on this 11th day of her detention, firmly say that the act of searching for a mobile phone including inside the female politician’s vagina, was just an egregious molestation and a sexual and gender- based violence aiming to intimidate a powerful female critic of President Julius Maada Bio. Meanwhile, as her detention has now gone beyond the constitutional 10 days, her International Lawyers are hopeful that President Bio will soon see reason to ensure the dynamic female Role model is released quickly. Under a State of Emergency instituted to fight the COVID-19 Corona virus, the President can personally signed a detention order for anybody in Sierra Leone but such an order not only needs to be personally signed by the President but he has to justify under the corona virus regulations why he has ordered the detention of such a person. Given that Dr. Blyden, a noted critic from the main opposition is yet to be told any specific crime for which she has now been detained by police for over 11 days, then President Bio many interestingly decide to do an arbitrary detention order of a woman considered by many Sierra Leoneans as a future female President of Sierra Leone. It is no longer a secret that President Bio and his governing Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) have long been in great panic and fear over the so-far unstoppable rise in national popularity of Dr. Sylvia Olayinka Blyden. Several SLPP executive members have released audios and made posts on social media expressing unhappiness with the massive popularity of Dr. Sylvia Blyden. One particular audio by an SLPP member called “CAPITAL B” had urged President Bio that only the killing of Dr. Blyden can save the SLPP from losing the next general elections slated for 2023. The audio message released Just 48 hours before the arrest of Dr. Blyden had urged the president to cook-up any kind of allegation against Dr. Blyden in order to arrest and then slaughter her whilst in detention. The audio has said “only a dead Sylvia Blyden will save our Party”

Seeing that it is now over eleven days since she was arrested but no concrete evidence yet provided as many around the world want to see if President Bio indeed plans to kill Dr. Sylvia Blyden in jail.

SEM Contributor

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