Monday December 8, 1997 EXPO TIMES SPECIAL Page 3
Viewpoint - A Bogus
AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL is a body that investigates human rights abuses worldwide. This body cautions repressive regimes, characteristic of torture, ill-treatment of persons, long detentions without trial, summary executions, conditions of prisoners, and a wide range of issues bothering on the RULE OF LAW.
However, the AMNESTY REPORT of 20th October 1997 carried in the edition of The DEMOCRAT Independent newspaper of 4th December 1997 is as best as saying less or nothing. It is bogus because there are no tangible evidences to illustrate and substantiate their claims. AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL is certainly a noble body doing or rather trying to protect the inalienable rights and freedom of people all over the world, This is a very good humanitarian concern. But for reports to carry our credibility and worth, tangible cases must be brought out to present a LOADED REPORT. But this particular report, so far, is empty of substance, and therefore, a poor one, with the outlook of an orchestration or manipulation.
"Many have been tortured and ill-treated" according to this edition. Whilst not entirely disagreeing with this claim, in order to satisfy the ANTAGONISTS, Amnesty must come out with cases to ascertain its claims. All the claims in this particular report appear source-less. The AMNESTY officials or agents here must endeavour to embark on thorough investigations to present a better, concise, cogent and an unsuspicious report.
The lengthy tabloid is more of AMNESTY's unrecognition of the AFRC regime of Major Johnny Paul Koroma, rather than a report on the abuse of HUMAN RIGHTS and the RULE OF LAW.
But what is actually the business of this body to question the LEGITIMACY of the AFRC regime?
Is this not outside its schedule?
We obviously appreciate its concern but at the same time believe that the body appears to be over-stepping its limits - certainly another facet of the multi-dimensional warfare unleashed by the regime in exile and its auxiliaries against the AFRC government of Major Johnny Paul Koroma.
There has been two coups to oust the regime of Major Johnny Paul Koroma. The first is that involving Dr Sama Siama Banya and others. The second is the most recent coup of Steve Cathy Bio and others. AFRC has carried no executions in both coups as yet. Infact, Banya and others, though found guilty were set free.
The AFRC is the first government in Sierra Leone to arrest former ministers after the May 25 coup and later released them without executing them. Was this not a positive decision taken by the JUNTA?
Now that Amnesty has designed its own warfare on the AFRC, it is good for the AFRC to give Steve Cathy Bio and others a speedy trial, and verdict passed on their treason case.
Those found guilty must be executed and those sued for misprison of treason given their various jail terms.
The people of this nation want to know the fate of these coupists.
This is certainly another case that AMNESTY is following with keen interest, to feast on.
But were FRANCIS MINAH and others not executed during MOMOH'S APC era?
Was BAMBAY KAMARA and others not beheaded during NPRC days.
And was JOHNNY PAUL KOROMA and others not to be executed just before Kabbah's departure from the political scene?
Was AMNESTY not a witness to all these uglies?
AFRC has not carried out any political executions other than armed robbers.
Therefore, AMNESTY must acknowledge that AFRC's HUMAN RIGHTS RECORD is not as bad as being painted.
Let us give the devil its dues.
We hate this media bias, to which AMNESTY has become a convert.
We welcome the concern, but do not want the FACTS to be distorted, exaggerated, misguided and scanty of source, all in the frantic speed to restore constitutional order and democracy.
We hope the continuation of this REPORT in the pending editions to come would give us facts and specific instances, dates, time, figures, pictures and casualties.
A bogus Amnesty Report is doing disservice.