4th December, 2020.
APOLOGIES AND FINANCIAL COMPENSATION ARE NOW DUE TO PROMINENT AND RENOWNED CHILD RIGHTS ACTIVIST AMBASSADOR HUSSAIN MUCKSON SESAY.
We have been following the arbitrary arrest of prominent and renowned Youth and Child rights activist Mr. Hussain Muckson Sesay and Dr. Sylvia O. Blyden by the government of Sierra Leone from 1st May—16th November 2020.
It could be recalled that on the 13th of May, 2020, we made a statement expressing how deeply concerned we were about the aforementioned arbitrary and unlawful arrest and detention of Ambassador Hussain Muckson Sesay by the state, at a time when he had taken ten (10) days at the CID Headquarters in Freetown. We noted that the Sierra Leone police vehemently refused to allow him his right to bail which is a violation of his human rights and an abuse of power by the state.
Ambassador Hussain Muckson Sesay was a dedicated member of the Children’s Forum Network (CFN) and contributed greatly towards the course of promoting youth and children’s rights in Sierra Leone. Amongst countless representations that Mr. Sesay has done in the course of promoting the rights of children in Sierra Leone, one key representation was when he represented the children of Sierra Leone at the 73rd session of the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child, in Geneva, Switzerland, in 2016. That makes the whole country proud of him as he delivered the state party report on behalf of Sierra Leone. Muckson is an emerging young leader with huge potential and energy to contribute to the development of Sierra Leone. He is someone with high credibility and a very good reputation.
An allegation was levied against Mr. Hussain Muckson Sesay that he allegedly shared a message with a picture on social media, taken during a police investigation of Dr. Sylvia Blyden at CID. An allegation that Muckson vehemently denied. After monitoring Muckson’s trial process at the Magistrate Court No. 1, of Magistrates Hannah Bonnie. We can now confirm to the public that Ambassador Hussain Muckson Sesay had no case with the Government of Sierra Leone. His arbitrary and unlawful arrest, detention, and imprisonment was just a ploy by the state to violate the human rights of this young man. As well as the arrest, detention, and imprisonment of Dr. Sylvia O. Blyden. They are both very reputable Sierra Leoneans and this country is proud of them.
However, today we want to join the clarion call of many Sierra Leoneans both home and abroad for the Government of Sierra Leone to issue unreserved apologies to the Prominent Child rights activist Ambassador Hussain Muckson Sesay as well as award him a heft financial compensation; to serve as redress for the egregious abuse of his human rights and damages he has suffered at the hands of the state.
We strongly believe that national, regional, and international statutes which are binding on the state of Sierra Leone demands an immediate apology and financial compensation to be paid to Mr. Sesay who should have enjoyed protection under the law but instead, he suffered unbelievable abuse that breached local and international laws, especially the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).
We want to commend Ambassador Hussain Muckson Sesay for always being fearless in advocating for the truth and for always taking firm stands on things he believes are right for our country Sierra Leone.
We want to note that, how the Sierra Leone Police at the Criminal Investigations Department in Freetown used their discretion with the Criminal Procedure Act of 1965 against Mr. Sesay was inhumane and especially when Sierra Leone is a signatory to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and numerous other international statutes of relevance. We are deeply concerned about the way this decent Sierra Leonean was manhandled by the state on what was a bogus and baseless charge. We hope that the state will see reasons to swiftly issue an unreserved Apology and render financial compensation to Mr. Muckson Sesay to ensure he does not have to go to the ECOWAS Court to seek justice.
It’s now a fact that his rights were grossly violated.
There’s a deep feeling of shame amongst Sierra Leoneans that such could happen amongst us as if we have learned nothing from the Truth & Reconciliation Commission Report produced to ensure we never go back to war. Many Sierra Leoneans were appalled, shocked, dismayed, saddened, and feel bitter over how the state treated Ambassador Hussain Muckson Sesay.
We want to use this opportunity to strongly condemn this pattern of police harassment on citizens which has seem to be systemic in President Bio’s SLPP-led administration which promised us a better Sierra Leone under the new direction manifesto.
At this juncture, we hereby call on His Excellency President Julius Maada Bio to take immediate steps to have his Government issue the required apology and pay the requisite financial compensation to Mr. Hussain Muckson Sesay.
1. Patriotic Empowerment Network Sierra Leone (P.E.N-SiL)
2. Dalvina Children’s Foundation
3. The Orphan Empowerment Society S/L
4. Action for Youth and Children’s Network, AYCN
5. Advocacy for Women and Youth Empowerment
6. Voice of Young People
7. Children and Youth Advocacy Forum S/L
8 Pan Africa Daily TV Sierra Leone chapter
9. Dreams Builder Initiative Network S/L
10. Human Integration and Life Empowerment Organisation. 076-964-666
11. Youth and Children Empowerment Forum (YCEF) Africa