February 23, 2018 By Ibrahim Tarawallie
The Human Rights Commission of Sierra Leone has expressed grave concern with regards the blatant disregard for campaign timetable set out by the National Electoral Commission of Sierra Leone (NEC) for the various political parties.
According to the commission, during monitoring and community engagement activities on human rights and elections in the regions, it was observed that supporters of various political parties were unaware of their scheduled days for rallies and as a result, were seen to be coming out for rallies on days not allocated to them by NEC.
In a press release issued yesterday, HRCSL Chairperson, Rev. Dr. Usman Jesse Fornah, cast blamed on the leadership of political parties, who might not have widely disseminated the campaign timetable to their supporters, especially in the regions and further ensure strict adherence to the same.
“HRCSL therefore condemns the current spate of violence, hate speech, political intolerance, inciteful and inflammatory languages by various political actors on the media and other fora. We therefore called on all political leaders and their supporters to denounce violence and promote political tolerance and reframe from the negative use of the media during the campaign period,” he stated in the release.
The commission reminded government of its obligations to maintain peace and security and therefore urged the Sierra Leone Police to execute their work with a deep sense of cosmic responsibility during the electoral period and to provide adequate security for all Presidential aspirants as they carry out their campaigns.
The national human right body also called on all media practitioners and institutions, particularly those aligned to political parties to be responsible, refrain from the use of hate speeches and inflammatory publications, adhered to the IMC media code of conduct and to educate the public to refrain from elections related violence.
With barely twelve days to the multitier elections, HRCSL called on all citizens to conduct themselves responsibly within the rule of law, display political tolerance and immense respect for the fundamental human rights of each other so as to ensure that a peaceful environment is ensured for successful polls on March 7.