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Page added on September 26, 2011
The Minister of Internal Affairs has in a press statement assured Sierra Leoneans of their rights to freedom of movement; contradicting Sierra Leone Police’s undemocratic banning of political rallies.
Minister Musa Tarawally self assuredly told Sierra Leoneans that it is their right to democratically exercise their freedom of movement without any impediment or barrier at all.
The release (see below) also indicated that the Ministry of Internal Affairs fully supports the President’s position on democracy, peace and development.
It could be recalled that the Inspector General of Police, Francis Munu, lately put a press statement restraining political parties from conduct rallies of whatever form.
This, to number of institutions including civil society organizations, was seen as a ploy by the police to muzzle persons or organizations rights of movement and association respectively.
The action to ban political party from conducting rallies was also seen by international human rights organizations as a complete commandeering of their rights to freedom of movement and association.
Histories have it nevertheless that the police have always been used by politicians to stifle rights of political parties when elections are near.
Just about three weeks ago, the elected Presidential candidate of the opposition Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) was reportedly on a tour in southern Sierra Leone to say ‘thank you’ to party officials as well as supporters.
On his arrival in Bo town, his first point of call, he was allegedly attacked by bunch of criminals believed to be supporters of the ruling APC party, thereby inflicting deep cut wound on his head.
The incident however sparked serious unrest in the town, and such, the police were accused of shooting, wounding and killing number of unarmed civilians.
It was also reported that supporters loyal to the SLPP party, in revenge of what was done to their party Presidential candidate, resulted into the burning down of premises owned and belonging to the ruling APC in Bo.
The unrest, we are told, almost degenerated to serious civil instability.
Barely two weeks after the Bo disturbance, the police under the guise of putting security measures in place, unconstitutionally imposed a ban forbidding political parties conduct rallies.
The action by the Minister of Internal Affairs to revert the police ban is an illustration that the Inspector General of Police acted unconstitutionally.
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