Sierra Leone’s human freedom index performance has dropped under SLPP government

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 29 June 2020:

According to the 2019 Global Human Freedom index, Sierra Leone  ranked 132 out of 162 countries, scoring 5.99 – dropping 20 places from 2018.

Sierra Leone ranked 112 out of 162 nations in 2018 –  thats 5 places from 2017; and 107 out of 159 nations under  the former APC government of president Ernes Bai Koroma before SLPP took office.

What this shows is that in the past two years, Sierra Leone’s Global Human Freedom performance has dropped 26 places., suggesting that (notwithstanding the coronavirus pandemic), citizens are less free to enjoy their civil Liberties – freedom of speech,  movement,  security,  religion, association and assembly.

The Human Freedom Index (HFI) presents a broad measure of human freedom, understood as the absence of coercive constraint. This fifth annual index uses 76 distinct indicators of personal and economic freedom in the following areas:

• Rule of Law
• Security and Safety
• Movement
• Religion
• Association, Assembly, and Civil Society
• Expression and Information
• Identity and Relationships
• Size of Government
• Legal System and Property Rights
• Access to Sound Money
• Freedom to Trade Internationally
• Regulation of Credit, Labor, and Business

The HFI finds a strong relationship between human freedom and democracy and suggests that freedom plays an important role in human well-being.

The jurisdictions that took the top 10 places, in order, were New Zealand, Switzerland, Hong Kong, Canada, Australia, Denmark and Luxembourg (tied in 6th place), Finland and Germany (tied in 8th place), and Ireland. Selected countries rank as follows: Sweden (11), United Kingdom (14), United States (15), Taiwan (19), Japan (25), South Korea (27), Chile (28), France (33), South Africa (64), Argentina (77), Mexico (92), India (94), Brazil (109), Russia (114), Turkey (122), Saudi Arabia (149), Iran (154), Egypt (157), Venezuela (161), and Syria (162).

Out of 10 regions, the regions with the highest levels of freedom are North America (Canada and the United States), Western Europe, and East Asia. The lowest levels are in the Middle East and North Africa, sub-Saharan Africa, and South Asia. Women-specific freedoms, as measured by five indicators in the index, are strongest in North America, Western Europe, and East Asia and are least protected in the Middle East and North Africa, sub-Saharan Africa, and South Asia.

According to the ranking it would appear that Sierra Leoneans generally enjoyed more freedoms and civil liberties like freedom of speech, movement, economic,  rule of law ,security under the former APC government than they are currently under the SLPP government.

You can read the 2019 Report here


  1. May God bless our country,Mama Salone. May there be love and peace, this is for us the youths of Sierra Leone. Let us forget about politics and concentrate on our country’s development and let’s respect democracy and especially the rule of law.

  2. Finally the APC supporters are very excited and happy about the bad news which they are solely responsible for. since they proclaimed that “they will create all kind of problems” if they lose the 2018 presidential election.
    The law enforcement will always be proactive against APC supporters based on that statement. Because they are trying to prevent our nation against the bad experience of the first term of the late President Kabba, after the APC party lost their first democratic election.
    I personally believe that the only time our nation will see progress in this category, is when SLPP are in opposition because they always respect the rule of law.

  3. The only thing that is surprising in this report is Sierra Leoneans are actually surprised. Given what is going on right now with political trials, brace yourselves, because next year’s report is going to be worse since records began. The fact that we continue to fall globally in the human freedom index, doesn’t come as a surprise. The only category in their assessment that we can be proud of, is the freedom to practice your religion of your choice. As for the rest of the categories, it is still work in progress.

    Let’s take freedom of expression, if you can be detained by the Sierra Leone police for posting on Facebook, or having the portrait of the former president, what hope have you got for living a peaceful life in Sierra Leone? Then which brings me to the next one – respect for the rule of law. For instance you are arrested for expressing yourself, you are taken to a police station. The least you will expect is to be charged or informed of the crime you committed. Not so, instead you spend twenty one days in a prison cell not knowing why you are there in the first place. You are then transferred to Pademeba Road prison, waiting for the so called CID investigators to dream up charges. You are placed with hard-core criminals.

    So even when you are detained by your government, as a citizen of Sierra Leone, the government can’t guarantee your safety and security as we witnessed with those poor prisoners recently. May their souls rest in peace.

  4. Freedom and liberty have really got messed up in Sierra Leone under the Maada Bio and cabal leadership. Even all the institutions, I mean all – the judiciary, the police, the Radio and TV stations, the Parliament, the ombudsman’s office, the human rights Commission, the Freetown City Council, etc – no longer enjoy freedoms to operate freely independently.

    Citizens are sacked from jobs without their benefits paid for exercising their freedom of speech and association. Demonstrators rounded up and jailed. Mile-91, Tonko Limba, Freetown and Pademba Road saw citizens shot at and killed by State guards with impunity. Innocent people arrested and locked up without charge. Freedom in Sierra Leone is totally gone!

    Thanks for writing about this. KKY was certainly right when he described the Bio led government as a junta-cracy. Sad!

    • Indeed. KKY was 90 percent right by calling the Bio SLPP “Junta-cracy.” I am 100 percent right by calling the Bio SLPP, “Junta Crackdown.” Thanks Mr Ibrahim S Sesay for your contribution and may God bless you.

  5. What is better for mama Salone at this current time for our socio-economic development SUCH AS a better Global Transparency Indices when Salone had leap-frogged from 49% the best of the 11 years of the mismanaged/rampant corruption of the previous APC led governance in March 31st 2018 when they handover to over 78% of the current SLPP-Led government. Just over 2 years and 2 months of our global ratings against their government/governance of 5 years mandated period of leadership speak volumes for both investor confidence/investments and vital global organisations/financial institutions.

    And AS SUCH, our position in the 2019 Global Human Freedom Index demonstrates the uphill battles/challenges the current SLPP led government is encountering/facing both at home and abroad from those enemies of progress to distort/discourage our global partners of progress/development. But we should know that ‘ROME WAS NOT BUILT IN A DAY’S TIME’AND WE SHALL OVERCOME SOMEDAY WITH TANGIBLE RESULTS FOR THE OVERALL SOCIO-ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT OF MAMA SALONE

    • Rome was not built in a day Mr Senesie Boima but it was built within a time frame and a period of time. But what you are not getting is, Sierra Leone is not Rome, as a result its development process rests solely on a 5 year periodical time frame. It means that,whosoever is given that mandate should try by all means possible to develop the country especially it economic,health,education and justice.So in that 5 years time frame you should be able at least to achieve something from these above named sectors.

      Wherever you stop, the next regime will carry on from where you left off – I am pretty sure thats what the Romans themselves had been doing since their time of immemorial. This is the kind of mentality this young generation (us the youth) should be advocating. Like I always say, had the internet been available during the 70s-90s, maybe just maybe the APC administration of Siaka Probyn Stevens would not have gone away scot-free with many things that they got away with. Apc administration would have been scrutinized to the fullest. For eg, musicians and now adays social media journalism would serve as local pressure groups in getting the administration to be so careful of how they run things for fear of the public turning against them.

      So you see, that’s why this present times is different from the old days of the 60s.Therefore,current leaders and their administration should not repeat the same mistakes that their previous leaders had done.The politics of developmental oriented should now be our focus in this of our time, if we want SL to be placed or counted among developed country.And for that to happen our leaders need to start to act like real leaders.Not reverts back to archaic times..

  6. Very sad. Bio must be careful of what his advisers are telling him to do? He should take note of Malawi.

  7. Mr Thomas – it seems that no matter what you do, you will always be portrayed as being biased against the establishment (lol). You remind me of a friend that once saved an unruly, obstreperous weakling from the hands of a merciless bully, only to have insults hurled at him, by the same thankless wretch,he had rescued,from the clutches, and jaws of death (lol). When the criminal, notorious SLPP were in opposition, and the Sierra Leone Telegraph was an umbrella and a shield for their ideas,policies,and beliefs,most of them considered you as closely related to them,as a righteous in-law that could do no wrong.

    But times have changed – marriages sometimes hit the rocks,and bosom friends become sworn adversaries because of influences imposed upon them by their insatiable thirsts for money,and power. So no need to worry Sir. Do the best you can, and all will be just fine. I now leave you with chorus of a Ricky Nelson song my grand mother used to love;it says…”And its alright now, I learned my lessons well; you see, ya can’t please everyone so you’ve got to please yourself”. Words of wisdom wrapped up in a soothingly beautiful song, indeed.

  8. Gentlemen – I am quite sure it will not surprise you to know that the incompetence of the notorious,criminal SLPP party didn’t just start today. Ineptitude runs tirelessly through their veins. Its a tradition, a custom and acceptable norm widely embraced by them all. It flows easily through their chaotic, tibalistic lives; runs and spills over like water from a running faucet left neglected and unattended. There’s a story I heard from an old street vendor, that I was hoping wasn’t true – but it is. The old vendor said, two years before the British granted Sierra Leone her Independence, and handed over power to Milton Margai they saw how ill-prepared, inept and unsuitable the SLPP members were, so they decided to train them vigorously, day and night in preparation for the oncoming momentous event.

    Night and day British tutors worked like iron robots, like bees building their honeycomb,they labored,trying to teach them how to read and write,but all to no avail – most of them,adults,couldn’t even read the Alphabet after six months of consistent tutoring.Time was not on their side;so the clever British devised a plan to validate,and move things quickly forward. Now listen – To seal the deal for our Independence,they brought a huge basket full of oranges,and told the SLPP men to “EMPTY THE BASKET FULL OF FRUITS”, without touching it,with your hands – hundreds of them stood there perplexed,and confused, not knowing what to do (lol).

    The British chuckled with laughter! Seven days it went on,the unsolved challenge,lingered,delayed our nations Independence – Stevens was on the sidelines,watching kicking up dust,and when it became too much for him to bear, he screamed “For Christs sake, dummies eat the oranges,until the basket becomes empty ” hahaha… The SLPP – were dummies back then,dummies even today (lol).

  9. Based on the relentless repressive actions being sanction by the current regime during the past 2 years, is there anything surprising at all to this report? Armed with a terror script written by chief minister and other extremists PAOPA elites, we all witness how the overzealous, pompous, arrogant, deputy internal minister,Lawrence Leema, made it a habit of constantly monitoring media airwaves, listening for any critical comments towards the government, and either phone in with threatening remarks or instruct CID to invite anyone not abiding by his dictates for questioning. As time progress, this became normal as we witnessed opposition members as well as journalists being repressed and in some instances harassed by our good for nothing police officers, acting by the so called ‘orders from the above”.

    As I have stated in this platform before, peace, freedom of expression, and national cohesion, are are not among the priorities of the current regime. What is important to the POAPA extremists is to revenge against former government officials, annihilate opposition parties, and accumulate all aspect of political power, even if it means bringing our nation to the brink of another civil war.

  10. And who is surprised that this barbaric, lawless, totalitarian government keeps on sinking lower and lower like an ordinary pebble thrown into the vast ocean, when it comes to serious and critical issues relating to exemplary performance in governance? Sincerely, in all matters of great significance and importance like the Global Freedom Index report, these dullards should be ranked permanently in last place, instead of on the 112th position. Give me a break! What a bunch of regressive-minded losers they are!

    This is exactly what happens when old Soldiers driving old battered, rusted vehicles, exchange their musty, sweaty, blood-stained uniforms for designer suits, sweet perfumes and luxurious cars…they become drunk with power and callously trample on the rights of others, showing no restraint or remorse whatsoever. I say to hell with these,trivial minded, tribalists, anarchists and pessimists who still prefer going barefooted, instead of fitting their backward-minded selves into elegantly polished, gleaming shoes. (lol)

  11. I am not suprised at the Telegraph newspaper for notoriously interested in publishing information against the Bio led administration. In Sierra Leone, we know how politics has gripped the minds and the friendships of unprofessionalism of journalists, civil society activists, etc, therefore, I believe that the writer of this article in the Sierra Leone Telegraph newspaper must be trying to fool those on the outside of Sierra Leone, not those on the inside. However, there is no way for us to believe that these findings are correct because we can feel the one sidedness in the way the story is written.

    Besides, this government is presently fighting corruption at the highest level for the first time in the history of this nation, while doing well in other areas in terms of improving the economy of the state. In the light of these, large number of those who were involved in corruption and receiving bribes in the last government including journalists and civil society activists are disgruntled especially when the present government is not bribing them to write any good story.

    Nevertheless, governments that are known for being highly democratic such as the United Kingdom and the United States of America are in 14 and 15 places. So if Sierra Leone is now at a lower level, it could be for some reasons due to the fact that freedom to be currupt and lawless is not granted any more. We are going to be expecting such findings and articles because there is no free monies to be spent on those who think that they cannot write anything good about this government without paying for it.

  12. Telling Mee! The HFI under the political turbo charged leadership of the best Commander in Chief ever, former President Ernest Bai Koroma is unbeatable. Could they please ask the former President for some advice? God bless former President Ernest Bai Koroma.

  13. “Sierra Leone ranked 112 out of 162 nations in 2018 – thats 5 places from 2017; and 107 out of 159 nations under the former APC government of president Ernes Bai Koroma before SLPP took office.”

    Okay, so let us bring back the APC and allow them to give us additional doses of their incompetence. Hahahaha. On a serious note, this article, although informative, commits the error of omission. It does not include the 2020 index that ranked Sierra Leone 112 out of 162 countries. Perhaps, more importantly, there is no mention of the critical fact that Sierra Leone continues to outrank several African countries. I am also wondering why the writer did not compare Sierra Leone’s ranking in the first two years of Ernest Koroma’s rule to Bio’s if he had wanted to make a conclusive statement on freedom under the APC and the SLPP.

    Further, it is important to note that freedom is relative and can be influenced by social, cultural, and ethical issues. Thus, perceptions of freedom in North America and Europe may not necessarily hold for Africa and South America. This makes any global comparisons of freedom to be fraught with problems. The danger, for example, is that when democracy comes under attack from relentless and ruthless opposition forces as we have seen in Sierra Leone over the last two years, even the most competent of governments would have no choice but to fight back. And when the government fights to uphold the legitimacy of democratic institutions and the rule of law, it might limit the contours of freedom for the greater good of the nation. I hope the writer would revisit this issue two years from today when president Bio would have been in office for four years.

    • Bilal, this 2019 Report is the latest. The 2020 Report you wrote about will be out next year. I think you meant to say 2020 Global Economic Freedom Report? They are not the same. I may be wrong, in which case please post the link to the 2020 Global Human Freedom Index Report you are referencing here.

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