APC condemns the “unjust and indiscriminate” arrest of its members

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 20 August 2019:

Sierra Leone’s main opposition All People’s Congress (APC) Party is today condemning the arrest and incarceration of its members and supporters by the police.

Writing in a public statement published yesterday, the party’s National Secretary General – Alhaji Dr Osman Foday Yansaneh refers to the arrest as unjust and indiscriminate. He calls on the international community to act.

This statement comes as the chairman of the Western Area Rural District Council – Mr Kasho Holland Cole (Photo – dressed in blue), who is also a senior member of the APC party, was released on bail today, after spending a few nights at the maximum Pademba Road Prison, for alleged riotous and violent conduct.

Twenty-three other APC politicians are being held in prison on similar charges, including the former Mayor of Freetown – Herbert George Williams, who was arrested yesterday and refused bail.

This is what the APC party’s National Secretary General – Alhaji Dr Osman Foday Yansaneh said:

“The leadership and entire membership of the All People’s Congress (APC) Party wish to draw the attention of all peace loving Sierra Leoneans and the International Community to the new pattern of unjust and indiscriminate arrest of peaceful and law abiding members of our revered APC Party on trumped up charges.

These members have been detained for varying periods and most of them refused bail contrary to Section 17 of the 1991 Constitution of the Republic of Sierra Leone.

The public would recall that on 31st May 2019, the Sierra Leone Police raided the offices of our Party and brutalized our members that were barricaded there. As if that was not enough, they went further to arrest and detain about 145 of our members for several days at the Criminal Investigation Department (CID).

47 of them were subsequently charged to Court without any hearing to date which in itself is a violation of their right to fair hearing within a reasonable time as guaranteed under Section 23 of the 1991 Constitution.

Since that barbaric attack by the SLP, the Publicity Secretary of the APC Mr. Cornelius Deveaux is still at large and we continue to fear for his personal safety and security.

Similarly, on the 29th July 2019, a day set aside by the Political Parties Registration Commission (PPRC) for our APC Party to organize a rally in support of our candidate for the Re-run elections in Constituency 110, our supporters were attacked by members of the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) who were not supposed to rally on that day. (Photo: APC National Secretary General – Yansaneh).

Following that incident, the Sierra Leone Police (SLP) arrested and incarcerated 23 supporters of the APC including a 73 year old man, a sick young man that was severely beaten and brutalized in the home of the SLPP candidate (video of the incident is available on social media), and a former Minister that had gone to the Adonkia Police Station to report the unfortunate incident.

All but one of them are still incarcerated at the Pademba Road Maximum Security Correctional Services Prison awaiting trial. The decision by the Magistrate to refuse them bail is in clear breach of their fundamental human rights.

On 13th August 2019, the Chairman of the Western Area Rural District was arrested and detained on similar fabricated and trumped up charges. He has been refused bail repeatedly and as we issue this statement, he is still detained at the Pademba Road Maximum Security Correctional Services Prison.

Today 19th August 2019, the SLP have again arrested the former Mayor of the Freetown City Council. He has since been charged to court and detained.

There is also a long list of other senior members of the APC Party that reports say are next in line to be arrested and detained for similar reasons.

The APC Party wishes to let all Sierra Leoneans (at home and abroad) and the international community know that the SLPP Government is now using the Sierra Leone Police to wage war on the APC.

This incessant savagery meted out on our members and the accompanying acts of intimidation and threats are becoming unbearable for our Party.

The APC Party wishes to make it known that such acts threaten the peace and stability of this country and undermine the basic tenets of democracy and good governance that we have all fought so hard to nurture and sustain.

It is now apparent that these actions by the SLP under the watch of the SLPP Government are clearly designed to ensure that our voters in Constituency 110 are disenfranchised by forcing them to run away from the Constituency and seek refuge in faraway places for fear of being arrested and detained.

The Leadership of the APC is hereby calling on the international community and especially our moral guarantors to bring pressure to bear on the SLPP Government and the SLP to stop these senseless moves that have the propensity to degenerate into sustained acts of violence that could threaten the peace and stability of this country.

Signed: Alhaji Amb. Dr. Osman Foday Yansaneh, National Secretary General, APC, 19th August 2019.” (End of Statement).

12 Comments

  1. Interesting to read the various comments regarding the on going toxic political climate in the nation. Sympathizers of both the 2 political parties have made it a personal duty to support their party’s action regardless of its detrimental nature. When APC was in power, her supporters will always turn a blind to many of the injustices and unconstitutionalities the EBK regime was instituting. Now with the SLPP in charge, her supporters are condoning the same injustices and unconstitutionalities they were against during the APC regime.

    As a Sierra Leonean, I ask myself these questions: where is the patriotism that mama salone yearns for? Are these 2 parties’ membership not comprised of Sierra Leoneans? Will this politics of retribution, revenge, win all-take all, annihilation of opposition parties, its own turn to eat, etc etc ever lead to our nation being developed? Instead of tearing each other apart, can’t we all work together for the common good? A house divided against itself will indeed not stand!!

  2. Mr. Reinhard Wiecha, I apologize if I am wrong but your name sounds like a caucasian from Europe and probably Germany. But to be honest with you, I guess you are more familiar with what deep economic and political problems and instability are. Presently the European Union is experiencing most of their problems thanks to the Germans who failed to conquer Europe militarily, but cleverly used economic means to conquer and dominate and even destabilize countries like Great Britain that helped to defeat – if I can borrow from the comment of Mr. Saidu Conteh – the Nazi, Adolf Hitler, Gestapos , and blah, blah and blah.

    I was hoping that you will advise members of this forum that we cannot equate the systematic elimination of over 6 million Jews which also resulted in a world war to the current situation in Sierra Leone. I also wish you had commented on the cocorioko newspaper about the “diversionary tactic to cool down the youth“ which has nothing to do with this article.

    Sierra Leoneans are poor economically ( thanks to our corrupt leaders) but you can testify that we are spiritually and culturally rich. And I can assure you that we can rise up against any difficulty with pride; and I guess that’s why you choose to be our in-law.

    My point is President Bio is our newly elected president and he deserves some respect just like any European leader, especially by reaching out to the youths by involving our own celebrities in the entertainment industry to sensitize and act as role models towards the development of our nation. RESPECT!

  3. I just read an article in this poor “cocorioko” about Maada Bio’s meeting with the members of the entertainment industry. This should solve the deep economical and political problems and instability? In my eyes it is a diversionary tactic to cool down the youth.

    Ok to develiop the tourist sector, can solve some economical problems, but not during the rainy season and under this momentary political situation.

  4. The ‘New Direction’ is the worst direction any government has ever taken in the history of Sierra Leone. Their confounding ignorance,evil intentions,and poor sense of judgment can be crystal clearly seen as they continue to create,and stoke the fires of instabilities in our beloved nation,through the ruthless,heartless, application,and promotion of GESTAPO tactics – indiscriminate arrests,barbaric brutality,and an unrelenting malicious,criminal attempts to silence,and eliminate the opposition forever. But the APC party is a Giant mountain that cannot be moved.

    Our foundation is deeply rooted,solidified,and grounded in the innermost depths of the social,moral, political psyche,and subconsciousness of the Sierra Leone people. See,we have always been a dependable,ceaselessly flowing river of hope that quenched the thirsts of millions of people in this nation.

    Its outright stupidity to even think,and try to tarnish,brutalize,and eliminate us. I agree with the Secretary General, the world should know what is happening here – that merciless,coldblooded GESTAPOS are now in control of once serene,and peaceful Sierra Leone,under a failing new direction, purposeful,and intent on burning and incinerating our nation to ashes.

    Its clear – The failing New Direction has already become an inept,fruitless,delusional direction. Instead of creating,and facilitating an atmosphere for mutual understanding, and dialogue they are promoting unspeakable acts of violence against the innocent citizens they were elected to govern.

    Things are totally messed up here – The Police that should serve,and protect the masses,and the Government have now become the real enemies of the people of Sierra Leone. Anarchy,and madness now prevail! But they shouldn’t think we will just watch them like cowardly sheep,while they arrest,brutalize,and humiliate our supporters in silence. Sadly mistaken!

    Power is in their hands! Abuse it and we will fiercely send them an answer they will never forget. So be it! Let them continue to create their little smoke,and fires,here,and there,and we will respond with mind blowing firestorms too frightening,and devastating for them to even control,extinguish and manage.

    The world should know that lawlessness,and mayhem are being promoted by a Criminal government here,anxious to follow in the footsteps of Nazi Germany. In case you were not aware,there is an ardent,loyal admirer of Adolf Hitler in State House emulating his cruel,unmatched barbarism,callousness,and evil enthusiasm.

    “Silly Pot Belly” always having a hateful Axe to Grind;who wishes to put our nation far behind,with your repulsive altitude that is totally blind – leave the opposition in Peace. Rising Sun Will Rise Again!

  5. What do you expect when you have a THUG for a ‘foot of state’? This government is a clear present danger to the peace and stability of our country. To those SLPP supporters who think this is okay, beware! Bio is dragging the country back into the paths of a civil crisis. All signs point to it. It’s up to us to bring an end to this barbaric acts now or get ready to dance to its bitter results.

  6. This is what they can emphasizeon and forgot about the APC criminal behaviors. In 2007 after APC took power these guys were not thinking about the law abiding citizens. When you were in power the police forces were the best, but now today you are out, they the worst. Let’s think first before we say something the whole world is watching.

    Talking about chaos, my little advise to you is, please do not pray for another civil WAR again. Talking about the Economical and Political instability, my brother what had Koroma Apc led gov’t left for the people? Bio inherited a big mess. Up to date APC never thinks they were defeated in the poll in 2018. It will takes over 80 years may be before APC will succeed again. APC needs to be exposed to the whole world to see their nakedness.

  7. The same folks condemning the Sierra Leone Police force for cracking down on errant and lawless behavior from some of our fellow citizens are the same people just weeks ago deriding them for not doing their due diligence in curbing the spate of crime and violence that has become common place in Sierra Leone. And now that the SLP has resolved to take the fight to these criminals many in the APC party hierarchy and their sympathizers are trying to politicize it.

    And to make it seem as if the SLPP party orchestrated the violence, looting and property destruction that followed their rally is just plain mischievous. The question we should be asking ourselves is why the SLPP rally did not result in any chaos?

    The simple answer is that their supporters were told to be law abiding and not to do anything that will lead to their arrest, Otherwise, they will be on their own. On the contrary, the APC party held a tailgate party in the residence of their ‘Chairman for Life’ and fed their innocent supporters, mainly young kids, with booze and drugs before sending them off to create mayhem. To hear their Secretary General, come out with this falsehood is bewildering. We all know that the APC party has always been the purveyor of political violence, so, no spin is going to convince the general public of their innocence.

  8. Personally I’m still waiting for the leadership of the APC to condemn all forms of violence including the one perpetrated by the APC thugs on the SLPP candidate instead of fabricating stories that this lady orchestrated the attack on herself. Why should the security decide to arrest only this former mayor amongst all the former APC mayors including the recent mayor. Why did they arrest the 73 years old man amongst all the old men in our nation?

    I hope that the APC will just desist from the promise made by their 2018 presidential candidate Dr. Samura who promised that his supporters will continue to cause all types of problems and make the country ungovernable, and in Krio we say: PEKIN WAY SAY E MAMA NOR GO SLEEP E SEF NOR GO SLEEP.

    I hope the APC will follow the process and allow the different government institutions to perform their duties that they use to perform when your were in governance for the past decade. Please give peace a chance by keeping to your promise that as long as Mr. N’fa Ali Conteh is NEC commissioner you will not participate in any election. Or do you have an hidden agenda? Time will tell.

  9. The New direction is likely a miss direction. What is the president doing bout what is happening? There will be no development where there is no peace. United we stand divided we fall.

  10. Sierra Leone is in both an ECONOMIC and POLITICAL INSTABILITY MODE at the moment. SAD. These are the two ingredients that scare INVESTORS and POTENTIAL INVESTORS away. The appeal that Dr. Yansaneh has just made is very significant and people need to be worried.

    Sierra Leone’s prosperity is taking a nose dive by the hour. More than one year after the elections, we are still in a big ECONOMIC and POLITICAL mess. The government till now is unable to carry out any meaningful progress to improve the livelihoods of the ordinary citizens. The GRON was and is still DRY over one year on. REGRETFUL.

    These indiscriminate arrest of opposition members and their supporters does not by no means help in this toxic political environment. The Bio administration must change course in the way he deals with the OPPOSITION. My advice is, please govern as a government for everyone and not as a political party for the ruling SLPP Mr. President.

    Because of these indiscriminate arrests and incarceration, I advice all the OPPOSITION PARTIES to maintain a good watch on their leaders. Take all the necessary precautions to make sure they are safe and OK. They can arrest opposition members or supporters and maybe nothing happens. But if an OPPOSITION LEADER is arrested, then I don’t know what will happen. It can be .. .?? I pray and hope that, peace and unity prevails in Sierra Leone. AMEN AND AMEN.

  11. This kind of political intimidation is what exactly needs to be condemned by everyone (especially political pundits,commentators writers etc of this newspaper)Let us dont sit by and look at this scary situation that has started unfolding in our country as “Slpp Vs Apc” thing.Wherein everyone is busy defending its sides even when there is a clear manifestation of the beginning of chaos.This is surely not the new direction we all are hoping to see in SL…

    If the Bio administration cannot provide a steady and guaranteed human rights to all Sierra Leoneans and politicians, then,there is potential for chaos.And we don’t want to see that happened again never again in ROMRONG in particular and Sierra da Lyoa in general….11 yrs of past political war in which the common people paid the greatest price is quite enough for the people of SIERRA LEONE.Lesson learned!

    Therefore, please let us all, particularly diasporans, call for an immediate “charged to court” for a speedy investigation and trial to determine what’s the crime committed by those individuals arrested and let the law takes it course!…And if there is no evidence of any crimes committed,then the immediate release of all of these political prisoners should be now…nothing less!….period!

  12. Again, what is going in in sierra leone? I fear the situation becomes more and more dangerous. What is with the parlament and the other parties beside SLPP and APC? There are no public and open discussions? What is the distribution of seats in the parlament now?

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