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SDI launches ‘Defending Civil Society Report 2016’

May 30, 2017 By Memunatu Bangura

Executive Director at SDI, Emmanuel Saffa Abdulia displaying the report

Society for Democratic Initiative (SDI) has on Thursday, 25th May, 2017, launched its 2016 report on Defending Civil Society on the theme: “Creating a chilling effect on Civil Society and its operations in Sierra Leone.”

Executive Director at SDI, Emmanuel Saffa Abdulia said that was the second report his organization launched since the inception of SDI, and that the first report was launch in 2012.

The report covered issues on background/introduction of civil society in Sierra Leone, Defending civil society in Sierra Leone: achievement and challenges, local and international legislation and treaties guaranteeing the independent operation of CSOs, NGOs and CBOs and Sierra Leone NGO policy among others.

He said in 2016 the actions of government, police and other bodies threatened and chilled out the space of CSOs.
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Abdulai stated that since 2009, Sierra Leone government has been pushing for the passage of the NGO policy, which would allow government’s intrusion into the operations of CSOs, adding that it was an unnecessary burden to CSOs.

According to him, the NGO policy would threaten and disturb the job and activities of Civil Society Organization and also clamp down on CSOs.

The Executive Director added that government should understand that if CSOs would go away, citizens will form groups to serve as CSO and that Members of Parliament were using power to silence CSOs whenever a report is launched.

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