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SaloneMan
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From Awoko

Sierra Leone News: Anti-corruption activist released on bail



The Chief Executive of the Campaign for Human Rights and Development International (CHRDI), an anti-corruption activist, Abdul M. Fatoma, was yesterday released by the Criminal Investigation Department after being granted bail.
Abdul Fatoma was approached by Police immediately after he came out of a radio programme on Radio Democracy 98.1, and was invited to the House of Parliament where he was questioned.
He was later taken to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), where he spent 24hrs in police custody and was bailed by David Tam Bayoh.
According to Police sources his passport has been confiscated and he will appear in Parliament on February 6, 2016.
The Chief Executive of CHRDI, after his release from detention, was unable to make a comment.
Fatoma’s legal representative, Emmanuel Saffa Abdulai, said the arrest was wrong by law and all the procedures used by Parliament are also illegal.
He said, “It also violates the rights of citizen’s to hold their elected official’s accountable. They stop intimidating people with their so-called enormous powers. Parliament should focus on more national issues like monitoring public sector expenditures.”
He said Fatoma was doing his job as a civil society activist to request public officers to account for public funds.
Following the detention and subsequent release on bail of Abdul Fatoma, Sabrina Mahtani of Amnesty International said, “The bail conditions imposed upon him, including the confiscation of his passport, must be lifted immediately and the authorities must stop pursuing charges against him.” “As someone who speaks out to keep Parliament accountable for its use of government funds, Abdul Fatoma should never have been detained. These attempts to intimidate are contrary to Sierra Leone’s regional and international human rights obligations.”
According to Amnesty International, “Abdul Fatoma was detained solely for exercising his right to freedom of expression. The government must allow human rights defenders to do their work without intimidation. The arrest of Abdul Fatoma is an attempt to reduce civic space and stop him and others questioning government actions.”
By Saidu Bah
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