Showing posts from 2022

Sixty years on: The England we saw in Sierra Leone

Prime Minister of Sierra Leone, Milton Margai(1895-1964), Queen Elizabeth II (1926-2022), Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh (1921-2021) in Sierra Leone, circa November 1961. Record of the royal visit by Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip to Sierra Leone from 25th November to 1st December 1961. 

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

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

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"

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

  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