Sierra Leone Telegraph: 04 May 2020:
Four days after Dr Sylvia Blyden was arrested and continues to be locked up by police in Freetown without charge, the Sierra Leone police has this evening released a statement explaining why they have arrested the journalist and opposition politician.
The Media and Public Relations Unit at Police Headquarters, said:
“Following cyber-related intelligence reports received at various times, the Sierra Leone Police (SLP) Friday 1st May, 2020, went to the residence of Dr. Sylvia Olayinka Blyden, at Cockle Bay, with the intention to arrest and investigate her for Incitement and Subversion. (Photo: Head of Sierra Leone Police – IG Soluva).
“The team of detectives arrived at her residence at 07:15 hours of the same day but were deliberately denied access to the premises by Dr. Blyden, until 15:30 hours.
“After the detectives finally gained entrance into the said premises, a search warrant was executed which led to three phones and three laptop computers retrieved from her for examination and analysis.
“She (Dr. Blyden) was also taken into custody at the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) and still being detained, helping the Police with the investigation.
“The public will be updated of development as the investigation progresses.”
There were expectations today for the release of Dr Blyden on bail, instead the police have issued this statement which has prompted many in Sierra Leone to ask questions about the need for the police to continue to keep Dr Blyden behind bars, whilst they conduct their investigations in search of evidence.
According to the police, they have arrested and are investigating the possibility Dr Sylvia Blyden may be guilty of incitement and subversion.
So far they have no evidence but have chosen to continue to lock her up all the same, until and when they can find the evidence with which she could be charged to court.
This seeming abuse of police powers, will certainly affect the country’s human rights rating, and possibly also the country’s foreign investment potential.