August 18, 2017 By Jariatu S. Bangura
While giving tribute to the memory of August 14th Flood and mudslide victims which left over 300 dead, Members of Parliament yesterday unanimously adopted a resolution calling on the Sierra Leone police to arrest and charge anyone who transfer, display or parade nude pictures and videos of victims in any shape or form on social media.
Moving the motion, Majority Leader of Parliament, Hon. Leonard Fofanah, said issues surrounding the disaster should not be politicised as it was a natural disaster beyond human control and that sharing those images is tantamount to disrespect for the dead.
“The way and manner people are parading and transferring photos of the affected victims is not patriotic, but rather tarnishing their image. Respect should be given to the dead”, he said.
Hon. Sheku Amani Sannoh of Constituency 112, Lumley, extended gratitude to the sympathizers since the disaster occurred on August 14.
“It is bad for people to portray negative pictures of the recent incident. Let us be more patriotic as per the laws of this country. This is a call to Nationalistic and patriotic. As we speak, dead bodies are still being retrieved,” he said.
He called on SLRA and Works Ministry to connect communities that have been disconnected by the flooding.
Hon. Ibrahim Ben Kargbo of Constituency 030, Portloko district, said the county lacks capacity to effectively handle post disaster issues, as only two machines were available to excavate dead bodies from the rubbles.
He called on authorities concerned to handle the issue with the utmost respect it deserves, especially on issues regarding the evacuation of the people from those prone disaster communities.
Hon. Alhassan Kamara said it was a disgrace for people to share naked photos of people that were gruesomely killed by the mudslide, thus noting that those that would fall short should face the full force of the law.
“There is need to regulate social media because of this sad incident. No more should we allow corpses of the mudslide be shared. Their memories are not respected. Let go out and provide body bags rather than displaying their nakedness,” he said.
Minority Leader, Hon. Dr. Bernadette Lahai said the disaster encompassed people from every area across the country; therefore it was a concern for all.
“We are now bound to implement our Environmental laws. We will go back and plant the green belt that we once have. I encourage the government to provide alternative lands. The cracks at those affected communities are still there. There must be a central command to make