20, 2016 -
The beasts in human form, the RUF/AFRC gang of infamy
clamps down on free expression in Sierra Leone as
protests on social media banned.
The authorities in Sierra Leone have
arrested and detained a number of people thought to be
behind plans to organise a massive nation-wide protest
against living conditions in the country in the wake of
recent steep hikes in the price of fuel. The government
has ordered all internet and social media providers to
monitor and block, where possible, all messages on
WhatsApp and other social media platforms in a move that
is been seen as a sign that the rat and his gang are
becoming increasingly paranoid about free speech and
expression in Sierra Leone especially when critical of
The latest news from the empire of the
rat is that one student from Fourah Bay College, Theresa
Mboma who was arrested by the authorities for what they
called sharing messages relating to a planned protest
march against unwholesome and degrading conditions in
the country has been charged with "incitement".
The fate of others arrested by
operatives of the oppressive regime is yet to be
revealed creating the same atmosphere that existed
during the days of the AFRC/RUF coalition of evil,
otherwise known as the beasts.
One news outlet,
stated - "Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs, Rtd.
Major Sengu Koroma has disclosed to newsmen at the
weekly Ministry of Information and Communication press
briefing that two people have been arrested and detained
by the police for allegedly inciting the public on
social media platforms. The Deputy Minister, who refused
to disclose names of those arrested said the duo posted
on social media that there was going to be a
demonstration and that people should stay at home."
"Major Koroma, however, noted that all
rumours making the rounds on social media platforms that
people should stay at home as a result of planned
demonstration on the street were baseless and
unjustifiable. He further stated that all rumours that
were on social media were being created by some
unscrupulous and unreasonable Sierra Leoneans that
wanted to create chaos in the country.
“Investigations are ongoing and if
those people are found guilty of the said crime, they
would be prosecuted and punished according to the law,”
A rights group in Sierra Leone, the
Campaign for Human Rights and Development International
(CHRDI) is reported to have slammed the attitude and
behaviour of the Sierra Leone Police force towards
citizens, who raised dissenting views with regards to
the hike in fuel price.
"Last Friday (November 11), the
government through the Petroleum Regulatory Agency and
oil marketers, announced an astronomical increase in the
prices of petroleum products from Le3, 750 per littre
for petrol, diesel and kerosene to Le6,000 per littre.
The announcement attracted lots of criticisms from civil
society organizations and members of the public, who
were of the opinion that the timing was wrong. The
Sierra Leone police prevented people from staging a
peaceful protest on the issue and threatened to arrest
those who might have wanted to force their way to
CHRDI’s Chief Executive, Abdul M.
Fatoma stated that the reaction from the Police towards
dissenting voices was tantamount to denying citizens the
right to protest peacefully across Freetown.
According to him, peaceful protest was
a fundamental civil liberty and that it behoves the
Police, who are enforcers of the law to recognize that
right and ensure they provide the enabling environment
for citizens to exercise it.
“We want to state very emphatically
that the Sierra Leone Police has no right to deny a
fundamental freedom in this way. Their duty is to uphold
citizen’s rights, not to conspire against them. Police
officers within the force should always guarantee the
security of the people and not generate insecurity,” he
Mr. Fatoma called on the SLP to stop
what he referred to as their “sneaky subversion” of
rights of assembly with immediate effect and allow
citizens to enjoy their full constitutional and
democratic rights to protest and make their voices
He also urged the government to take
urgent measures to stop the intimidation and harassment
of innocent citizens in the country and create an
enabling environment for the aggrieved to address
challenging issues that hinge on national development
“The right of assembly in a public
place is truly one of the cornerstones of citizens’
freedom. It represents the exercise of the right to bear
witness and bring peaceful pressure to bear on rulers
who have acted against their interest,” he added.
We got this from social media, the
outlet that the anti democratic forces in Sierra Leone
passing for a government of, by and for the people wants
to prevent people from using to exercise their freedom
of expression and thought.
"After making her first appearance in
magistrate Court #1 before Magistrate Binneh Kamara for
the first time for alleged posting on Social media
relating to the present increase on petroleum products
in Sierra Leone, 20 year old Theresa Mbomaya has been
refused bail today November 18th 2016 and sent to the
Pademba Road Female Correctional Service Center.
According to Magistrate Kamara, he
will pass ruling on the application by defence lawyers
on behalf of Theresa headed by Barrister Francis Ben
Kaifala on Monday November 21st 2016. Theresa was
arrested on Tuesday 16th November 2016 while coming from
evening service at her St. Edwards Church, Kingtom in
Freetown. She further spent two days at State CID gaol
(16th and 17th November respectively)...While we observe
restraint on the entire issue, we further are of the
belief that free speech is a constitutional right and
therefore shouldn't be suppressed. We continue to stand
with Theresa and we hope that justice will be served"
The National Union of Sierra Leone
Students has issued this statement on social media -
"The attention of the National Union
of Sierra Leone Students (NUSS) has been drawn to an
arrest done by the Sierra Leone Police of Theresa M’Boma,
a student of Fourah Bay College for allegedly sharing
inciting posts on the social media.
The confirmation by Ministry of
Information and Communications officials saying that she
is one of two people arrested for sharing posts on the
social media is one that we feel lacks the merit to hold
her in detention and that we think its not substantial
enough for a student to be detained and not being
released at least on bail.
This is a news that has met us with
utmost dissatisfaction. We view this as a violation of
her human rights and disrespect for her right to
education considering the fact that she is currently
fulfilling other academic requirements. Thus, the arrest
could negatively impact her quest to acquire quality
education. We consider this as an infringement of her
human rights (educational right in particular).
The union is therefore, calling on the
Sierra Leone Police to release Theresa M’Boma, a Student
of Fourah Bay College within 3 working days whilst the
investigations continue. It is our position that Theresa
M’Boma be released in a time not more than 72 hrs from
the time of arrest as provided for and guaranteed by
Chapter III; Section 17, sub-section 3 (b) of the 1991
constitution, Act. No. 6.
It should be noted that NUSS is not in
anyway against the police’s duty as law enforcement
agency including investigation of matters concerning
state security, but detaining a student beyond the
constitutional provision is ultra vires and since the
constitution is supreme, we’re asking that like every
other citizen, Theresa’s fundamental human rights be
respected. The executive of NUSS wishes to guarantee the
general studentship of the country that it stands by
them and that Theresa’s case shall not be an exception.
We are poised to protecting the rights and maximize the
welfare of every students in this country. Long Live
Students Unionism! Long Live Sierra Leone!
Let us take you back to the horrors of
the AFRC/RUF of 1997/98 and how Sierra Leone became one
huge concentration camp for those who did not support
the excesses of the human rights violators calling
itself the government of one Johnny Paul Koroma.
"Many students, who have been vocal in their opposition to the AFRC, have been
arbitrarily arrested and detained.
In the days immediately following the coup, a student at Milton Margai College
of Education, Abdulai Musa, was arrested after being heard to say that
the AFRC would be in power only for a matter of days. He was taken to Pademba
Road prison where he remained for almost a month. According to reports, he had
recently undergone an operation and was denied access to a doctor while in
In early June 1997 Ansu Bockarie, a member of the executive committee of
the National Union of Sierra Leone Students, was reported to have been severely
ill-treated by a prominent member of the AFRC when he was found to be in
possession of his student union card.
More than 120 people, mostly students, were arrested on 18 and 19 August 1997
following attempts by students to stage a demonstration - a march for democracy
- protesting against the AFRC.
The demonstration had been prohibited by the
authorities; however, students and others, including trade unionists and market
women, defied the ban. Those attempting to demonstrate were forced to disperse
by the security forces who fired shots and tear-gas. At least six students were
killed and many others seriously injured as a result of ill-treatment.
Among those reported to be have been arrested
on 18 August 1997 were Brima
Ali, Miranda Hanciles, a student at Milton Margai College of
Education, Sahr Kortequee, a medical student, Mohamed Mansaray, a
student at Fourah Bay College, Albert Massaquoi, a student at Njala
University College, Imran Mohamed Silla, a student, James Tucker,
a student at Fourah Bay College, Lewis Tucker, a student at Njala
University College, and Sheik Turay, a teacher.
Eighty-six students, including nine women, were taken to Pademba Road prison,
another 35 to Cockerill military headquarters and an unknown number to the CID
headquarters in Freetown.
Those held at Pademba Road prison were held for 12
days before being released. Some students were reported to be still held by
October 1997 at other places of detention, including Cockerill military
headquarters. The exact numbers of those held was impossible to determine;
reports referred to at least 37. Many students were reported to remain missing,
their families frightened to make inquiries to the authorities about their
whereabouts; they include a woman, Juliet Jones.
Since the events of 18 August 1997 students, and their families, have continued
to be intimidated and threatened. They have been warned against approaching the
media or non-governmental human rights organizations.
This was the atmosphere created by the human rights
abusers then and creeping up on the forces of democracy
in Sierra Leone. Those who have watched the goings-on of
government operatives manipulated by the puppet master
at State House know only too well that AFRC MK2 is
really now showing its true colours as they did in 1997
when any excuse could be used to arrest, torture or kill
any perceived opponent.
They refer to the various appointments in key positions
of government as proof as quite a good number who were
also active operatives of the AFRC/RUF including his
appointed and unelected crony, the so-called Vice
President Victor Bockarie Foh, the embodiment of
corruption and repression.