Fellow Sierra Leoneans,

There is no denying the fact that our country is moving through one of its most turbulent political periods.

With a government that is singularly focused on  prolonging its own lifespan by any means possible, while the main opposition party is sadly locked up in petty personality squabbles, our national institutions are disintegrating all around us and leaving the people unprotected, bewildered and disappointed.

The arrest and detention of Abdul M. Fatoma, Chief Executive Officer of the Campaign for Human Rights and Development Internatiomal (CHRDI) yesterday at the Central Investigations Department in Freetown is another cause for alarm.

Arresting Abdul Fatoma will not succeed in sweeping  aside the many disturbing questions about transparency and corruption raised by his organisation.

The outright consternation and the current outflow of negative emotions towards parliament is symptomatic of the general frustration experienced by the citizenry, who are increasingly feeling powerless in the face of institutions that were established to promote the interests of the people.

Arbitrary arrests and detention of human right activists and perceived political opponents, under any pretext, is bound to have an unsettling effect on an increasingly volatile political environment.

No one is suggesting that anyone should be seen as being above the law. But what I would like to insist on here is that any alleged breach of the law needs to be investigated and prosecuted in line with the law itself.

In a democracy, neither the Executive nor Parliament should abrogate the role and functions of the Judiciary.

Parliamentarians should not place themselves above questioning by the people they represent, especially where their conduct may be perceived as unaccountable, confusing or compromising.

I sincerely believe that there are still many good men and women in our parliament who may find themselves hampered by the prevailing circumstances. Now is one such time for those good men and women to stand up for what is right and strongly speak out against what is wrong!  The arrest and detention of Abdul Fatoma is wrong on all grounds.

Although Abdul Fatoma has been granted bail today, I call  for an end to the continuous intimidation of citizens who dare to question those in power!

Your humble servant,

Alie Kabba
Everyone in, No one out!
Everyone up, No one down!

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