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Christian Lawyers say the special committee set up by President Bio is biased

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Christian Lawyers, which also goes by the name Legal Link, issued a press release this week featuring nine recommendations for the Special Investigations Committee, which President Julius Maada Bio hurriedly set up to look into the August 10 protests that left at least six police officers dead and scores of people unaccounted for.  Rashid Dumbuya, currently executive director of Legal Link, is also a former Commissioner for Human Rights in Sierra Leone, which was provided for in the Lome Peace Agreement of 1999, and was also recommended in the 2004 Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) report. The Human Rights Commission was established to protect and promote human rights in Sierra Leone. The commission is recognized as a national institution that fulfills the standards set by the UN Paris Principles governing such institutions. According to Dumbuya's biography on LinkedIn, he has worked with the UN Special Court for Sierra Leone and Human Rights Forum in Geneva. Christian Lawy

Three takeaways from the recent speech by the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists president

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The Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ) was founded in1971 primarily to promote freedom of expression and the press, to seek the welfare and protection of its membership, and seek training and capacity-building opportunities for its membership. After 50 years, how does the current president, Ahmed Sahid Nasralla, plan to engage representatives from digitally literate countries that make up the international community? How does he expect them to strengthen a media landscape lagging behind current thinking or trends? A month ago, the Twitter feed of the SLAJ president was paying a lot of lip service to the launch of the Citizens Manifesto Report and the organization's support of initiatives that put citizens’ priorities at the top of the agenda for the 2023 elections in Sierra Leone. The Aug 10 protests, which later turned deadly, gave the SLAJ president a more urgent reason to speak about the economic base, public order, and protecting citizens and their freedoms.   "

Answer President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah's Call: "Never again shall we resort to violence to settle matters of political importance"

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Mohamed Sorie Forna and fourteen others were executed in Sierra Leone on July 19, 1975. I remember the date because my late father, driving us home, decided to go past Pademba Road. He was a Sierra Leone Daily Mail reporter in the 1950s. I have never forgotten the sight of bodies hanging on the high concrete wall towering over the prison. As I grew older and understood more of what I saw, I realized that there is reason developed countries choose not to display executed souls for all to see. By the time, Hindolo Tyre, a Fourah Bay College student president, was thrust into the role of leading a nationwide protest, which galvanized support from the labor unions, I was distracted by foreign movies like Network.  What I remember most about it was that before Howard Beale's sermons on the dehumanization of society, he asked viewers to shout, "I'm as mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore!" from their windows. Gosh, so many people I knew were silently scre

International Women's Day | March 8, 2022

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  On International Women's Day 2022, I pray every girl in Sierra Leone gets access to the quality of education I had in Freetown in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s. Before economic instability and one of the longest wars, Sierra Leone had made many gains and built on infrastructures post-independence. Today, women in Sierra Leone have a lot of freedoms on paper, yet they face some of the most daunting challenges against pervasive sexism. Take, for example, Freetown's embattled mayor; the ousted auditor general; and beleaguered election watch activist. These three women are abused and harassed for just doing their job. Only a few weeks ago, one political operative (and his mother!) walked into the office of a public servant and assaulted her. No doubt about it, Sierra Leone is as unfriendly to women holding public office as ordinary women striving to make a living. It’s still one of the worst countries to be a girl child—a place where living is a constant battle against sexual haras

Andrew Keili: Ponder My Thoughts | 40 Years in Sierra Leone Politics

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No doubt about it, Sierra Leone's Andrew Keili writes potent stuff. But read these summary points and then go on to his analysis of the latest fiasco in the country.  1. Accusations against the Auditor General have been vitriolic. 2. Many [Maada Bio] supporters have cited Salone's “You do me ar do you” law. 3. Audits are the same. They indicate the absence of process, procedure, and misuse of government resources. 4. Professional [bodies] can rescind the certification of their members found wanting in egregious circumstances. 5. The Audit SLL Board is missing in action (MIA). 6. Oversight bodies are bypassed in Salone. 7. SLn lawyers are all over the map.  8. Absurdities in the 1991 Constitution. 9. Civil society orga nizations have been co-opted. 11. An exercise in futility. PONDER MY THOUGHTS by Andrew Keili "LARA TAYLOR PEARCE SAGA: NINE LESSONS BUT NO CAROLS" The Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols is a service of Christian worship celebrating the birth of Je

Needless loss of lives in Freetown, Sierra Leone

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In a somber video posted to social media by Sierra Network Salone, Victor Mengot addressed the latest man-made disaster in Freetown late on Friday. "We know that accidents do occur," Mengot said, "but as Sierra Leoneans pray for the victims the nation must also be aware that it is not an isolated incident." Mengot said he has seen similar disasters in Kenya, Nigeria, and several other countries. "Transporting hazardous cargo is not an easy business," he said.  "We must make sure they are transported safely and by qualified people." Originally an industrial zone, the Wellington area has now become a mixed settlement with shops and a lot of people, making it difficult to respond to a disaster, Mengot noted.  "While we mourn the loss of our citizens, we call upon the oil companies, the government of Sierra Leone, and our citizens, so that when accidents occur they don't rush to the scene to be onlookers," Mengot said. "We need pro