Following the arrest and interrogation today of activist Edmond Abu during a peaceful protest in Freetown, Sierra Leone, Sabrina Mahtani, Amnesty International West Africa researcher, said:
“The arrest of Edmond Abu for participating in peaceful protest just months after the new government came into power shows the urgency of reforming restrictive laws on peaceful assembly. The authorities must end arbitrary arrest of protesters and uphold the right to freedom of peaceful assembly.”
“The Public Order Act 1965 is overly broad and gives too much discretion to the police. The new government claimed it was a victim of such laws and repressive policing whilst in opposition and now has a key opportunity to make history by making sure Sierra Leone’s laws on peaceful assembly are fully consistent and compatible with international human rights standards.”
Activist Edmond Abu was arrested in Freetown while participating in a protest against an increase in fuel prices. He was taken to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) Headquarters and released after being interrogated.