CHRDI CONDEMNS THE DETENTION OF MR ABDUL M FATOMA AND CALLS FOR HIS IMMEDIATE AND UNCONDITIONAL RELEASE

*CHRDI CONDEMNS THE DETENTION OF THEIR CEO MR ABDUL M FATOMA AND CALLS FOR HIS IMMEDIATE AND UNCONDITIONAL RELEASE

On 31st January 2017, the Chief Executive of the Campaign for Human Rights and Development International (CHRDI), Abdul M. Fatoma was summoned to Parliament to respond to questions relating to our Accountability Campaign, in which we have been asking Members of Parliament to be accountable to the citizens of this country for all the moneys they have received either as Community Development Fund (CDF) or donor funds provided for capacity building of Parliamentarians.
Mr. Abdul Fatoma was approached by Police officers immediately after he came out of a radio programme on Radio Democracy 98.1, where he was guest on their flagship ‘Good Morning Sierra Leone’ programme and was escorted to the house of Parliament where he was arraigned for questioning. He was later taken to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), where he has been detained on charges of incitement and disaffection against Parliament.
We the staff of CHRDI strongly condemn the actions of Parliament against Mr. Abdul Fatoma who was only making his own contribution to improving the welfare of poor Sierra Leoneans by calling out corrupt politicians and perpetrators of bad governance in Sierra Leone. We believe that the Accountability Campaign against Parliament is a national call which has given a deeper meaning to the fundamental rights enshrined in the Constitution of Sierra Leone, the legislated obligations of the Sierra Leone government and specifically the people’s representatives in Parliament.
We would like to remind the Speaker of the House, all Honourable Members of Parliament and the Administration of Parliament to endeavour to disclose all documents detailing how members of the Sierra Leone parliament and officials of parliament spend the Community Development and Constituency Facilitation funds, expense allowances and capacity building training funds provided by international development partners and Sierra Leonean taxpayers.
We shall also continue to remind the Speaker of the House about his mandate under The Anti-Corruption Act, 2008, PART IV, (36.(1) (2) and 37.(1)) and the United Nations Convention against Corruption, which the Sierra Leone Government signed on to on the 9 December 2003 and ratified on 30 September 2004 and which came into force on 14 December 2005.
Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human rights clearly states that; “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.”

We still have evidence in our possession about funding provided to Parliament by the following donor organisations from 2011-2016 and for which we still believe little has been reported on how they were expended;
1, Africa Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF)

· Project: Capacity Building for the Parliament of Sierra Leone (National Parliaments and Parliamentary Institutions)

· Project start date: 2012 Project end date: 2016

· Project Amount: $2 000 000 (two million US dollars)

2, The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) – from the country Consolidated fund account:

· Project: UNDP Support to Sierra Leone Parliament.

· Project start date: 1 January 2008. Project end date: 31 December 2016

· Project amount: $1,692,603 (one million, six hundred ninety-two thousand, six hundred three US Dollars) for 2011 to 2015.
We also know that a total amount of LE 41,683,667,028 was received by Members of Parliament between 2011 and 2016 for Community facilitation and community development funds.
Since we launched our Accountability Campaign in late July 2016, we have not receive any response to our call. Instead, a few members of Parliament, including the Leader of the House have been on a media campaign to intimidate all journalists not to publish our articles and further resorted to attacking the credibility of Mr Fatoma. They have engaged in the surveillance of activists and civil society and labelled civil society organisations as “agents of foreign interests”.
We want to remind the Honourable Members of Parliament that our main focus is on the ordinary constituents and how they can be in better control of their representatives in Parliament, promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels. Our call was to improve and ensure the effective implementation of the anti-corruption legislation in respect of parliamentarians and other government officials.  
We in CHRDI regard the inconsistent application of anti-corruption laws and policies, and the weak capacities and lack of independence of the major institutions in charge of fighting corruption as key drivers of our failure to develop as a nation and we want to assure the general citizenry that we shall not relent in our fight to make corruption in high places including the House of Parliament a thing of the past.
As Law makers we implore you to uphold the principles of fundamental human rights and not work in contravention of the values you are meant to protect and pass on for posterity. 
We therefore want to call on The Speaker of the House and all Members of Parliament to see reason and ensure the immediate and unconditional release of Mr. Fatoma. 
The CHRDI Media Team
Campaign for Human Rights and Development International (CHRDI) is a Rights based social-policy advocacy Organisation. We Draw attention to the responsibility of duty-bearers to uphold human rights, and seek to support rights-holders to claim their rights. CHRDI is in Special Consultative Status to the United Nations Economic and Social Council and accredited to many UN Agencies.​

About Patric Foryoh

Patric Foryoh Daboh is a blogger, Political, social activist,a satirist and co-founder & Co Editor of Makoni Times Newspaper based in United States of America. He studied Multimedia in the United States.He has met and interviewed personalities including Former vice-president of Sierra Leone Alhaji Sam Sumana, late Tamba Sam SLPP Secretary General , Gloria Strasser , David Tam Mbayoh , Agibu Jalloh, Chernor Bah, Murtala Mohamed , Mohamed Kamarainba Mansaray, J. Arr, Nasser Ayoub, Alpha Timbo, Robin Farley, Bai Mahmoud, and many more. Patric has produced the "Diolog" show at the TPN radio and was the social media correspondent for TPN . He has appeared on numerous daily newspapers publication in Sierra Leone. He blogs at Sierra Leone one man civil society blog on relationship, sex, marriage, faith & culture, politics, religion. He was the programming manager at Mamba TV. Patric Foryoh was named as the 54 Most Influential People in Sierra Leone by Swit Salone.com Patric Foryoh represents the new wave of new voices in Sierra Leone/Africa media who are breaking boundaries and charting new territories. He is a husband and a father of a son and a daughter.

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