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HRCSL condemns hate messages-urges Gov’t to safeguard state & people’s security

By Ibrahim Tarawallie

The Human Rights Commission of Sierra Leone (HRCSL) has vehemently condemned all forms of hate messages and diatribes been peddled on social media platforms by some unscrupulous individuals both home and abroad.

The past few weeks have witnessed the proliferation of hate videos, audios and voice notes on social media, which have the potential to divide the nation and cause unrest in the country.

In a press statement signed by the Chairperson, Patricia Narsu Ndanema, the HRCSL urged the government and its relevant agencies to ensure that the security of the state and its people is safeguarded within the confines of the laws and international covenants and protocols to which Sierra Leone is a party to at all times.

The national human rights body called on those persons behind such unpatriotic practices and behavior to desist from such acts without further delay.

“The HRCSL in its general monitoring role has been monitoring different social media platforms which have recently been flooded with hate messages and diatribes from Sierra Leoneans both within and outside the country with the aim of inciting civil and political unrest and ultimately bringing the State to a standstill,” the release stated.

Chairperson, madam Ndanema said the commission frowns at messages of hate and division as they do not constitute the free speech envisaged by the repeal of the Criminal and Seditious Libel Laws nor do they constitute the spirit and intendment contained in section 25 subsection (1) of the Constitution of Sierra Leone, 1991, Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), Article19 (1) & (2) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).

She reminded the government of its primary state obligation to provide security for citizens and everyone staying in Sierra Leone as provided for in Section 5 (2) (b) of the 1991 Constitution of Sierra Leone.

“The HRCSL again uses this opportunity to call on citizens to abide by the provision contained in Section 13 of the Constitution which provides mandatory Duties of the Citizen which includes but not limited to: “a sense of nationalism and patriotism so that loyalty to the State shall override sectional, ethnic, tribal or other loyalties; protect and preserve public property…; ensure the proper control and upbringing of his children and wards; render assistance to appropriate and lawful agencies in the maintenance of law and order.”

The HRCSL called on every citizen at home and abroad to desist from producing and promoting all forms of hate messages and diatribes and to be law abiding, discipline and participate in and defend all democratic processes and practices responsibly.

The commission reassured the general public of its unwavering commitment to the promotion and protection of human rights of all.

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