Sierra Leonean social activist Vickie Remoe took to Twitter on December 3rd, 2023, expressing deep concern about a night raid in Makeni that led to the arrest of several community members suspected of planning the failed coup attempt in Sierra Leone.
Remoe acknowledged her own anxiety and extended empathy to those affected by the incident, urging authorities to ensure humane treatment during the investigation.
she emphasized, “A lot of people in Makeni are anxious tonight. So am I. A couple of members of their community have been arrested in a night raid. I don’t have all the news, but my heart goes out to everyone who is reeling with shock from this raid. While the government investigates, I’m pleading with authorities for humane treatment for all.
In 2019, police arrested my father and took him to a politician’s house where he was assaulted. He was 72. Then, at the police station, he was kicked by the LUC.
My father was arrested for being a known member of the APC. That was all.
That arrest and detention almost cost him his life. So please, as the government investigates the Nov 26 coup attempt, the due process promised must be upheld. Detainees must have access to legal representation, they must know their alleged crime, the evidence against them, and most importantly, that no harm shall meet them while in custody. I support efforts to hold those accountable for the coup attempt responsible. Those efforts, however, should not be overzealous or heavy-handed. Know justice, know peace.”
In her tweet, Remoe drew attention to her personal experience in 2019 when her father, at the age of 72, was arrested and subjected to assault during detention. The arrest was based solely on his affiliation with the APC, highlighting the potential dangers of arbitrary arrests. She emphasized the life-threatening consequences her father faced and urged the government to uphold due process in the current investigation.
As Sierra Leone grapples with the aftermath of the November 26 coup attempt, Remoe stressed the importance of detainees having access to legal representation, knowledge of their alleged crimes, awareness of evidence against them, and, critically, protection from harm while in custody. She advocated for a balanced approach in holding those responsible for the coup attempt accountable, cautioning against overzealous or heavy-handed measures that could undermine the pursuit of justice.
Remoe’s plea resonates with the broader call for transparency, accountability, and respect for human rights in Sierra Leone. The tweet serves as a reminder of the delicate balance required in addressing security concerns without compromising the fundamental principles of justice. As the government continues its investigation, Remoe’s message amplifies the voices advocating for a fair and lawful process, ultimately contributing to the ongoing dialogue on the rule of law and human rights in the country.