The Society for Democratic Initiatives (SDI) has issued a ptesse release demanding the immediate and unconditional release of Civil Society activist, Edmond Abu who was picked up by police this afternoon in Freetown while leading a peace demonstration over the increase in the cost of fuel.
Mr. Abu was merely exercising his democratic rights and the authorities in Freetown have compelling reasons to release him immediately.
Meanwhile, workers of the Sierra Leone Commercial Bank and the Rokel Commercial Bank also went on a strike action following the removal of leave allowances from their entitlements.
Negotiations were initiated this afternoon by s battery of senior government officials to resolve the impasse.
A report on the outcome of the meeting has been reportedly presented to the President for his appreciation.
*The New Democracy Under The New SLPP Direction*
One of the Civil Society Organization didn’t take *Big Government Bribe* in the fuel increase in Sierra Leone.
Edmond Abu has been arrested by the SLPP Government for Peaceful Demonstration against the increment of fuel and other Petroleum Products.
By Koroma APC
“Mr President we want to say to you that you’re not a king 👑. You’re a leader of the people 👫 and therefore you must never expect a treatment of a king 👑. You must be a leader. You must welcome those who criticize you; and always defend the right of those who disagree 👎🏽 with you to disagree 👎🏽 with you. You must not abuse your power because you think you’re powerful like that”.
The arrest of Edmond Abu and other activists or the delegitimization of protest is nothing new in Salone. We’ve seen and read how politicians will use the judiciary to impose bail conditions in order to restrict further protest. Now, people need to ask for permission to protest. If the police say yes, they are being magnanimous. The police are holding people to ransom. Freedom of Assembly and Association as well as Free Speech is clearly enshrined in our constitution. President Bio should not make the same mistakes his predecessors made. Please realize that those who take to the streets to protest do not have politicians to fight for them. Protesting is the only power they can exercise as of now beyond box ticking in a ballot once every five years. Protest is absolutely necessary for our democracy. It gives voice to those with no platform or privilege. #ReleaseEdmondAbu
BREAKING NEWS: COMMERCIAL BANK AND ROKEL BANK ON CIVIL STRIKE ACTION “Wi nor de gri” protest chants in the Street!!
DEM BANK STAFF DON BARANTA!!
Sierra Leone campaigner arrested in first protest since Bio election
AFPJuly 17, 2018, 6:25 PM GMT
Sierra Leone president Julius Maada Bio, pictured in May 2018, marked his 100th day in office by hiking fuel prices, sparking protests in capital city Freetown
Sierra Leone president Julius Maada Bio, pictured in May 2018, marked his 100th day in office by hiking fuel prices, sparking protests in capital city Freetown (AFP Photo/Sia KAMBOU)
Freetown (AFP) – Police in Sierra Leone on Tuesday arrested a campaigner and dispersed others who were protesting a hike in fuel prices, in the first such action since a new president came into power in April.
Earlier this month, leading rights group Amnesty International warned that the Julius Maada Bio administration had failed to restore the right to demonstrate and to prosecute police officers who killed protesters under the previous regime.
Edmond Abu, who heads the Native Consortium and Research Center, a think-tank, was arrested on Tuesday in rainy Freetown as he led a small march against the rise of fuel prices from 6000 Leones (0.67 euros) to 8000 Leones (0.89 euros).
“We are currently interrogating the protest leader at the Criminal Investigation Department for staging an unauthorised protest,” police superintendent Brima Kamara told AFP in Freetown.
Police dispersed other protesters in the capital’s business district and elsewhere because the demonstration was illegal, Kamara said.
The price hike was announced on July 13 as part of a wider budget released as Julius Maada Bio clocked 100 days in office.
“Over the past decade, peaceful anti-government protests have repeatedly been refused permission or violently dispersed,” Sabrina Mahtani, a West Africa researcher for Amnesty, told reporters in early July.
The ruling Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) repeatedly accused the previous government of restricting freedom of assembly while in opposition.
President Bio took office in early April after a tumultuous election campaign, ending a decade-long rule by the All People’s Congress (APC).
Yet protesters still require permission from the police to assemble — a right sparsely granted in recent years.
Similar protests have erupted in neighbouring Guinea, severely disrupting the capital this week after the government upped the price of petrol by 25 percent.