Cogent Advice from HCRSL towards June 24 Polls


By Amin Kef (Ranger)

Despite the fact that the Human Rights Commission of Sierra Leone (HRCSL) had issued a Press Release denouncing the organizers and events of the fateful August 10, 2022 violent incident in Freetown which claimed the lives of a number of civilians and Government workers alike, the HCRSL is recounting this incident for all citizens to be cautious and restrain from participating in any event that would lead to violence during the coming June 24, 2023 general elections.

It is important to note that the HCRSL in its 12th August, 2022 Press Release made mention of the fact that, it was through a Press Release from the Sierra Leone Police (SLP) and various social media platforms that it became knowledgeable of a group of people wanting to stage a protest against the Government of Sierra Leone within the period 8th-10thAugust 2022.

In that Press Release the Commission noted that despite the Press Release by the Sierra Leone Police warning people to refrain from disobeying what was clearly a violation of procedure to process, it was observed that some people insisted in carrying out the protest even without police permission.

Unfortunately, the HCRSL noted in its release that despite the Police Press Release and the deployment of strategic police commanders; identifiable and unknown bloggers and enthusiasts continued writing and sending audio messages and videos on social media calling on citizens to take to the streets in protest or identify a place where they could assemble without procession in protest of their rights.

Against the above, the HRCSL stated that in light of the observations and findings, it is making the following statements and clarifications:

While the HRCSL has persistently called for the fulfillment of the right to peaceful and organized assemblies and associations to be backed by Police protection/security, it has always equally reminded citizens that the right to Freedoms of Assembly and Association has conditions and that it is worthy to note that there are always exceptions provided under the laws.

According to the HRCSL, Subsection (2) of the same Section 26 of the Constitution provides as follows; Nothing contained in or done under the authority of any law shall be held to be inconsistent with or in contravention of this section to the extent that the law in question makes provision which is reasonably required in the interest of defence, public safety, public order, public morality, public health, or provision for the maintenance of supplies and services essential to the life of the community; or for the purpose of protecting the rights and freedoms of other persons.

In essence, what the HRCSL is saying is that as the country moves closer to the June 24, 2023 general elections it is incumbent on each and every Sierra Leone to be wary of messages coming from social media platforms that have the tendency of disrupting the peaceful conduct of the elections.

The HCRSL also believes that while it is the right of every person to protest for any issue affecting his/her welfare, it must be noted that such rights come with certain duties and responsibilities which include the right of others to be safe and secure and not affected by the actions of others.

The HRCSL, as before, is recommending that citizens be law-abiding in line with the provisions stipulated in Sections 13 (a-j) of the Constitution of Sierra Leone 1991, respect authorities of the State and resist any form of lawlessness and incitement howsoever as the country marches towards the June 2023 elections.


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