Monday, November 21, 2016

Creating an Unlikely Political Hero

Theresa Released on Bail
Sometimes fame is suddenly thrust on people. The decision by Mohamed Bangura, Sierra Leone's Information Minister, to arrest a 20 year old female university student over a social media post and charge her to court has made her an unlikely heroine in the country. Many people see in her treatment the depravity and ineptitude of the Koroma regime and the depths to which it has sunk, even as the country is on the brink of economic collapse.
Student Supporters

Mohamed Bangura, a half literate political opportunist who gave fake academic credentials at his parliamentary confirmation and was only approved because the country's Parliament rubber stamps every decision of the country's president, was rewarded the Information Ministry after he left his government sponsored opposition party, the UDM, and declared his loyalty to the ruling APC party. Of late Mohamed Bangura has been threatening to ban all social media in the country, with the opinion that social media was being used to portray the government in a bad light. Mohamed Bangura a newly christened APC stalwart who has been a member of every major political party in Sierra Leone, has been so vocal in defending the APC party over the past few months that some are have taken to comparing him to the mourner who weeps more than the bereaved.
Free Theresa

This morning, Theresa Komaya, the unjustly arrested female student was taken to court and had no shortage of lawyers to defend her.  The country's bar association seems to be one of the few voices of dissent left in the country. Many law abiding citizens turned up in front of the court to support the student against this gross human right violation. To many in the crowd, Theresa's arrest symbolized the attitude of a government that had come to increasingly believe that its authority supersedes the rights of the people, a view that was publicly expressed by Mohamed Bangura few months ago.

It can be recalled that sometime ago, in threatening to clamp down on social media, Mohamed Bangura had explicitly made the statement that as a government minister, he cared neither about " human right or human left." This arrest and prosecution of the young student can only be seen as a practical demonstration of the disdain the half baked minister and his government have for human rights in the country.

Theresa was released today on a reported 50 million Leones bail and is scheduled to appear in court again as Mohamed Bangura seeks to make her the example of how serious the government is in its desire to trample on the rights of the common Sierra Leonean.


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