Sierra Leone Telegraph: 04 June 2020:
Last Friday, 29 May, she was out on bail amidst jubilation from family and friends. But yesterday, she was rearrested and sent to prison detention for allegedly breaching court’s ‘sub-judice’ rules.
Sub-judice rules make it illegal for anyone involved in a trial to comment publicly about the case in question. Supporters of Dr Blyden say that she has not broken any rules, as she did not comment on the case itself.
“Dr Blyden has done nothing wrong. She was rearrested after posting several messages on social media about her inhumane treatment in detention, as well as her strong criticisms of the Bio-led government, which was the reason she was arrested a month ago in the first place – exercising her human rights and civil liberty,” a source close to the family told the Sierra Leone Telegraph.
After spending over three weeks in police detention without charge, Dr Blyden was charged to court last week to answer to a ten-counts charge – ranging from seditious libel against the president to perverting the course of justice.
Dr Sylvia Olayinka Blyden was last Friday released on very stiff bail terms and conditions, set by Magistrate Hannah Bonnie, including the presentation of two sureties who are property owners in the Western Area of Sierra Leone – with each property valued at 500 million Leones (about $50,000); and for each surety to produce their passport, the conveyance document and valuation certificate of their property.
Appearing in court yesterday, state counsel requested that Magistrate Hannah Bonnie should revoke Dr Blyden’s bail, based on what he said was Dr Blyden’s violation of the court’s sub-judice rules – posting messages about the case on social media, an allegation she denies.
It is not clear whether her lawyers will now seek further appeal for bail and on what terms. The case continues.
Surprised analysis there by Mr Alusine Fallay. I really don’t understand what Mr Alusine Fallay is trying to say to me. Has Mr Alusine Fallay recognised what I have been saying to him all along, how popular, powerful, diligent, charismatic, fair, descent, caring, honest, hardworking and potential APC presidential candidate, the APC Mayor Yvonne Aki Sawyer is? It seems to me, Mr Alusine Fallay is slowly turning his attention towards the APC and positioning himself to be a supporter of Mayor Yvonne Aki Sawyer and the APC in 2023. It’s interesting.
As far as I know, Mr Alusine Fallay has never been a supporter of any APC member. I have never noticed him supporting anyone in the SLPP other than President Bio and the Bio SLPP. Prove me wrong Mr Alusine Fallay. As I have always said, there are champions in all our political parties who a potential presidential candidates and are candidates who embrace democracy and the rule of law. Individuals like Chief Sam Sumana, Mayor Yvonne Aki Sawyer – Mr Alusine Fallay’s favourite, Dr Sylvia Blyden, Dr Francis Kai Kai and Mr Tamba Lamina to name a few. Finally, I applaud and respect Mr Alusine Fallay’s new direction in acknowledging that there are champions in Sierra Leone other than President Bio and the Bio SLPP. God bless Chief Sam Sumana, Dr Sylvia Blyden, Mayor Yvonne Aki Sawyer, Dr Francis Kai Kai, Mr Tamba Lamina and Mr Alusine Fallay.
In my personal opinion, I believe that Sylvia Blyden’s biggest blunder apart from the corruption allegation that was levied against her, by her former deputy to have stolen a portion of the $12 million that was donated by the international community for the eradication of Female Genital Initiation was when she tried to politicize the coronavirus epidemic by insisting that the government MUST release private information of patients because of the propaganda messages that the APC party members were spreading on social media that our First Lady had contracted the disease through her son who arrived from London.
She took it to a different level by promoting a conspiracy theory that the most powerful and popular APC party mayor of Freetown Aki Sawyer must be tested because she was at a meeting with Prince Charles of Britain, even though the mayor had already satisfied the government protocols for a 14 days quarantine. The final straw was when she endorsed and collaborated with the “SERIAL MAMMY CURSER” who is destroying the moral fabric of our society by insulting all the women of Sierra Leone and also destroying our youths by inciting violence.
For the sake of her mother, Sylvia Blyden should have condemned those type of behavior because all around the world it’s a taboo to insult innocent mothers because they are always precious as was evident in the uprising that is currently taking place around the world when George Floyd a 46 years old grown up man called his dead mother to save his life from his murderers. I hope and pray that Dr. Sylvia Blyden will decide to use her doctorate degree to save lives rather than using her so-called journalist degree as a APC propaganda machine as a distraction to the people of Sierra Leone during this difficult and challenging times.
Political fanaticism can indeed led to psychopathic symptoms. When APC was in power and wielding their political advantage to sometimes subdue opposition voices, these so-called PAOPA extremists were never considering the APC actions as instilling law and order. Now with SLPP in power, employing similar tactics in an extreme form, the diehard delusional supporters are now calling for citizens to ‘abide by the laws’. Yes, no one is above the law, so why are you saying it just now folks?
Does it mean that those of you who suffered political maltreatment under the APC, were breaking the laws? Come on folks, stop this hypocrisy. Sierra Leone belongs to all of us. When we call out wrong doings regardless of which party is in power and demand for fair justice across the board, everyone wins. Since no party will ever rule our nation forever, paying lip service or advocating for political retribution will surely come back to hunt us. Lonta!!
Cyberenforcer: I do not expect this government to magically fix the ruins of our country. I also do not expect them to prosecute people for simply exercising their right, which is to speak on issues they may have deemed unfit for the state… Seeking skyscrapers and fine tunnels for the state has nothing to do with charging people with irrationally enacted laws.
My point is that this government can be criticized, simple. However, if they truly feel otherwise, then I suggest that they start looking for a new field to occupy.
Nobody is above the law, and Ms. Blyden knows that. She should not be released from jail again and must learn her lesson. Paopa Salone go betteh.
Physician know thyself – and know thine enemies; those are the prudent words of advice, I gave to Dr Blyden right here on this noble forum, but it seems they fell on deaf ears. Madam, these people are criminals and tricksters in their truest forms, the worst and grimmiest that you have ever met. Their deplorable suffocating attitudes aptly resembles toxic smoke and fire, there is no way to breathe freely around them. Brace yourself! You are dealing with a criminal cabal, that has no regard for morality, rights of citizens and the Rule of law; poorly educated braggarts, arrogant to the innermost core of their incompetent, tribalistic, nepotistic beings; that’s who they are.
Unfeeling men, whose hands are stained, tainted and contaminated by their involvements in the most repulsive, contemptuous, sordid acts of occultism,and unsavory ritualistic practices,they proudly inherited from erratic SLPP monsters that once grudgingly raised them. Madam, tread cautiously as if you are walking on egg shells; you are now on thinnest ice! Do not slacken or underestimate these lawless, ungodly, barbaric men, for they are wolves and vultures, that are known to greedily eat their own, without showing any remorse whatsoever. A moment of trial is upon us! All the political,social and moral gains we have made have now been flushed down the drains of callousness and vindictiveness.
The media needs to wake up from its cowardly deep slumber – it is time to empower, educate and inspire our people to their civil rights. This is our finest moment, to let the world know that GESTAPOS and the CHEKA, that carried out the Red terror massacre in Soviet Russia, are now in full control ruling our beloved Sierra Leone.
This government is not too big to becriticized; as a matter of fact it’s not big at all. Since coming to power, what national deed has this government carried out to exude the tenacity of thinking that it is absolved from any form of criticism? I have not visited Sierra Leone going on five yrs now and I might be jumping the gun by downplaying any accrued development it may have achieved. So can someone who has recently visited our beloved country, tell me what has this government done that is so profound to think so highly of itself?
Have we got to where the population is now walking on rose peddles? From a governmental standpoint, have they inserted themselves to the point that Grass-Fed steak is as common as Gari for our food deprived people? This is just getting ridiculous, and not even a laughing matter any longer. Also, I could be reaching here, but the president is starting to strike me as someone who would attempt to exceed his term limit.
Guys please be practical and sensible in criticism. How do you expect any government to right a 50 year wrong in 2 years. This is not building a house; it is managing a country for heavens sake! Bio and his government will not be able to correct the country in 2 terms. It will take decades to bring the country up to speed. Unless you are looking for manage levels where citizens continue to struggle with no jobs, no water, limited power, inhumane living conditions, insanitary conditions and so on ….. The ugly truth is APC nor SLPP before them (Kabba) advanced our country. Since the white man gave us independence, what have we done that is substantial? NOTHING! Perhaps you are pleased with Youyi building, National Stadium and a few sprinkling of infrastructure (which have since become obsolete). Get real.
I don’t actually understand why some folks are ignoring the reality on the ground. Who is Sylvia not to abide or in other words to obey the law? Is she above the law of the land? If so how?. Let the law abiding citizens folks.
Frankly speaking, this woman is too loud! Is she looking for fame? Ok she is going to get one and that would be ugly. Yes of course, we are all liable to exercise our right but not in the wrong way. Let Ms. Blyden get to know that; she cannot do any harm; nothing to Bio nor to the SLPP party.
The Bio regime is the most serious administration we have ever got in this country. Bio is not a dictator neither taking dictatorship classes, because he never and will never ask for more time and sit down to become a life chairman for SLPP. Sometimes if you don’t have something better to educate us with, please keep quiet. We have been seeing people going on facebook, twitter and so on, insulting Bio and his family 24/7, why all this? Don’t you think that the whole world is watching?. Bio and his family stole no-one’s money.
Ask APC, let them explain to you what were they doing during their 11 year in power. Enough is enough. God appointed him as a leader of this country and he will ever remain there as long as God wants him to. Your answer is, nothing is going on in our justice system. APCs are the extremists – we all knew them. Sierra Leone will never be like N. Korea again if that’s your wish. This country was under the APC dictatorship or Monarchy.
You are a bloviating and a lousy thinker. It amazes me how someone could write so extensively but say nothing. When has being ‘loud’ become a criminal offence?
Based on what I read on various newspapers and heard from radio stations, Sylvia Blyden was given stiff bail conditions which she had a choice to reject, but since she agreed to abide by those conditions, she is supposed to abide by those conditions. Speaking as a layman, when it comes to law, I know that there are restrictions on making public comments with regards to an ongoing investigation or judicial matters which can either tamper the balanced conclusion of the investigation or sway the decision of the juries or the judge, that are supposedly responsible for the unbiased outcome of the case. In this case, even Sylvia Blyden is not above the law.
What is going on with this justice system. It is so sad.
Now we know why she was released first time round in the first place. The government wanted to secure a loan from the IMF. The IMF didn’t want to be seen to be rewarding this government for their abuse of human rights and the suppression of free speech. What better way to do it? The president who is always short on ideas, got one suggestion from someone by the looks of it – don’t have the nation at heart but doing it for their own selfish ends to manipulate this president and take us back where we were only few weeks ago. Mr President, Dr Sylvia Blyden is an internationally recognised figure. The IMF and the European Union will not want to be seen to be rewarding your government in a political witch hunt; and a judiciary meant to uphold the rights of citizens gone rogue, tainted and not fit for purpose.
Whether it is coincidence or I am living in a different planet, we are celebrating the release of the IMF loan, at the same time an overzealous prosecution team has to do something to impress the president, or they won’t get a share of the national cake. So let us release her and put black tape around her mouth so she is not allowed to say anything both in public or private. Mr president once we get the loan, we will take her back in. This government is not interested in maintaining peace and stability, rather they thrive on chaos to deflect from their incompetence in running a small country like ours.
Interesting development. So an accused victim is not allowed to profess his/her innocence in the public domain after being charged on trumped-up charges and detained for almost 30 days? Has our country suddenly become the likes of North Korea, where citizens must worship their leader else risk being incarcerated? I am not sure what’s in the heads of these PAOPA hardcore extremists. One thing is guaranteed, in the age of the 21st century, fear mongering and tyrannical policies will never succeed in shutting down the citizens’ rights to demand for accountability and fair justice across the board.
Commonsense dictates that, it’s better to address impending issues of national concern, than ignoring or playing lip service. If the Bio regime is serious in moving the development needle in our nation, the current spate of political retribution, stifling of free speech, and other tyrannical polices must be addressed with a broader goal of unifying our nation. The continuous arrest and locking up of citizens will only amplify our issues. Threats and intimidation by lawless politician will only succeed in antagonizing the suffering masses, who if continue to be pushed in corner, will have no choice but to fight back.