Monday January 23, 2006
City: London, UK
Comments: Dear Sir,
On Thursday, January 12th — I was informed that my dear friend Mr. Omrie Golley, who is a London Barrister and former UN peace negotiator, was arrested by the Sierra Leone police in his hotel as he was about to leave for the airport to catch his flight back to London. Immediately following his detainment, I was told that the President of the country, Tejan Kabbah, went on national television and radio declaring that Mr. Golley had been apprehended, for reasons that he was suspected in trying to destabilize and subvert the government of Sierra Leone. I am told that no evidence to substantiate the accusation has yet been presented. Although the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Oliver Somassa, has since issued a statement that Mr. Golley and three other people have been detained pertaining to matters of state security.
As for clarifying who the three other people were that the police arrested with him, the police neglected to say that they were his personal young staff helpers that have been assisting him year in and year out to carry his bags, to cook for him and to do his shopping and run his errands every time he visited Sierra Leone.
In his most recent trip, Mr. Golley was visiting the country on private legal matter on behalf of a European client. His arrest comes as a shock to us all, for we recognize Mr. Golley as being a respected barrister and a man of peace whose success as a UN appointed negotiator brought tranquility and economic development to the country.
Indeed Mr. Golley is widely credited for playing a most the pivotal role in the Sierra Leone peace process when he, by request of the UN, went forth and assumed the role of spokes-person for the RUF, (The Revolutionary United Front), who were engaged at the time in a most horrific civil war with the Sierra Leone Government. I feel the label Mr. Golley has been given by the police as being a ?RUF Strongman’ certainly demonstrates that the police desire that Mr. Golley be viewed by the general public in a manner that brings about a more erroneous label of him, rather than by what he truly is, which was and still remains, a true peacemaker.
Working alongside the United Nations, the Government of Sierra Leone and the International Community, Mr. Golley was able to negotiate an end to the conflict, thus bringing peace, tranquility and prosperity to the country. This is fully documented and no one should deviate from this fact.
Since his work with the UN, and over the years, Mr. Golley has been a regular visitor to Freetown, often bringing financial investors like myself with him to boost the country’s economy, thereby adding to the prosperity which the people of the land seek so dearly.
On several occasions, Mr. Golley had been asked to throw his hat into the political ring, but as he always told to me, he prefers the tranquility of his personal home life rather than undertaking the task of the nation’s leadership, when he knows full well that others are already doing that job. If a change in heart has taken place, it is still not a reason to label him a state security threat.
His wife has been informed that his telephone privileges have been suspended. This act deprives Mr. Golley of his human rights, for no one should be deprived of such independence. The Inspector General of Police, Oliver Somassa, stated that he entered the country on his Sierra Leonean Passport, which he always does. Mr. Golley was born in England, has a British passport and this does indeed make him a British citizen, which grants him the protection of Queen and Country.
We humbly urge the government for his immediate release from prison so that he may return to his loved ones in London. “Arresting Mr. Omrie Golley and accusing him of subverting the government of Sierra Leone, is something that makes no sense to those like myself who have worked along side Mr. Golley in his quest to help the country economically. I urge the Government of Sierra Leone to demonstrate that it has a keen interest to allow its committed sons and daughters to freely participate in the development of the country without fear of intimidation or recrimination.”
Mr. Golley’s immediate family, friends and clients alike, eagerly await his return from Sierra Leone and are convinced that whatever the outcome, he will forever continue to bring prosperity to the land.