Archive for January, 2007
AT HOME, IN THE COMMUNITY, AND IN THE CLASSROOM.
ON THIS JANUARY 29, 2007.
on behalf of all whom you inspired in Sierra Leone .
Politscope : APC LEADER ERNEST KOROMA SAYS PARTY POISED TO CAPTURE ALL THE SEATS IN THE WESTERN AREASaturday, January 27th, 2007
COCORIOKO, your popular and one of the most trusted sources of information online can now reliably inform our readers that a watershed moment in Sierra Leone politics is about to happen. The Civil Defence Force ( CDF) , which valiantly helped to redeem Sierra Leone from the murderous clutces of the RUF and AFRC rebels ), is about to declare its position in Sierra Leone’s political metamorphorsis.
Through frantic, efficient , water-tight and relentless investigation by this newspaper, we can now reliably report that the CDF and the new People’s Movement For Democratic Change ( PMDC) are edging towards the formation of a united front.
SLPP CRITICS SAY JOHN LEIGH’S REPORT ON NORMAN NOT CORRECT.
I am advising any one who reads Mr Leigh’s account of chief Norman’s situation to dismiss it as rubbish. Not only that Mr. Leigh is not a credible spokesman for the the SLPP government,but does not know what and when to say it.This is the same man who referred to the Makeni Convention as combention and at the same went on licking the boots of the product of the Combention-Solomon Berewa.A man without principles has nothing to live for . Maybe my brother Leigh should just keep quiet and hope to serve Berewa if SLPP succeeds in stealing the elections which is intentionally scheduled in the raining season—-July 28 07.
David T. Squire MD.
Also , the Rev. Alfred SamForay has said that the John Leigh report on Chief Norman was inaccurate
Culled from AWARENESS TIMES
By Sayoh Kamara
Jan 23, 2007, 11:32
The Special Court for Sierra Leone in the early hours of yesterday, 17th January 2007 flew out two of its detainees; Chief Sam Hinga Norman (CDF) and Issa Sesay (RUF) to Dakar, Senegal apparently for medical treatment but Chief Hingha Norman has now exclusively revealed last evening to Awareness Times that he is very bitter against the Special Court whom he emphatically states has not taken him into any hospital but have instead “dumped me into the worst jailyard in Senegal”.
However, the Special Court Spokesman, Peter Andersen denied the allegation when contacted last night.
“Chief Norman and Issa Sesay are in the VIP [Very Important Persons] wing of a military hospital in Dakar.” Andersen told Awareness Times. When pressed further to name the military hospital, Andersen refused to do so appealing for understanding from Awareness Times because of what he termed as “obvious security reasons.”
However, in an exasperated mood, Chief Norman stated unequivocally to Awareness Times during a facilitated telephone call between this newspaper and the Chief in Senegal that, the place himself and Issa Sesay had been taken to was, “very much unsatisfactory and not conducive for human living”.
Chief Norman said they had been taken not into hospital as expected but that they had been “dumped” into what he termed as, “the worst jailyard in Senegal” pointing out that if they are not taken from where they are at present to a conducive place, preferably a hospital of international standard for his surgical operation to be conducted, he would, “resist any attempt at performing the surgery until I am removed from where I am at present to a place that is environmentally conducive for a surgical operation.”
It now appears that the sudden transfer was done with the complete ignorance of the Norman family and his lawyer Bu-Buakei Jabbie who told Awareness Times yesterday that he (Jabbe) was surprised that Chief Norman was taken out of Sierra Leone without his knowledge. However, Special Court’s Peter Andersen posited that since it was a “medical issue” and not a “legal issue”, the court did not need to inform the lawyers for Norman or Issa Sesay before flying them out for medical treatment.
Chief Norman himself explained to this newspaper that he and Issa Sesay were suddenly whisked from their cells very early in the morning on Wednesday to the Lungi Airport and put on board a helicopter which shuttled them to Dakar in Senegal after they were assured that they were going to be admitted into hospital.
According to Chief Norman, they had agreed with the Special Court for Sierra Leone to be taken to “a reputable hospital that meets the international standards set in the statutes of the Special Court but not to a squalid environment like we are in now”, he angrily told Awareness Times, and therefore threatened, “If I am not removed from where I am now, I will embark on an indefinite hunger strike for the attention of the international community and the people of Sierra Leone as a way of highlighting my plight”, he noted.
He went on to express fear for his life and disclosed, “As I speak to you now, I have not seen any Doctor. Nobody has spoken to me and since I arrived early this morning I have not been given any food to eat”, adding, “We are being treated like virtual prisoners in a condition far worse than we were in at the Special Court in Sierra Leone.”
He therefore called, “Because of all these unprecedented happenings, I want to tell Sierra Leoneans and the world through you Awareness Times that I, Chief Sam Hinga Norman, am very much afraid for my life as it is put in the hands of people I do not trust to administer any form of medical treatment on me”, he stated.
|Juliet Norman speaks with Awareness Times Editor last night|
A daughter of Chief Norman, Juliet Norman who also spoke exclusively to Awareness Times pointed out that as a family, no one was informed or contacted about the transfer of her father. “I only came to know about it when I got an unexpected call from an unknown person in Senegal that my father wanted to talk to me”, she said.
She explained that the family had earlier requested from the Special Court that they be informed whenever they want to take him any where for what ever medical treatment, noting that they had suggested that at least a member of the family be allowed to accompany him.
“I was therefore shocked to hear from Papa that he was in Senegal and was in a place that is a jailyard and not a hospital”, Juliet told Awareness Times.
Juliet Norman drew a hypothesis emphasizing the concern of the Norman family, which suggests that her father may be about to be treated like the late Foday Sankoh.
“Perhaps because of fears that he might say things which some people never wanted to be known by the Sierra Leone people, he was first put in what they called “catatonic condition” only for him to die later. I am therefore very much concerned over my father’s welfare and life especially in the kind of conditions he now finds himself”, Juliet said.
According to Juliet Norman, she does not believe that her father was actually taken to Senegal for an operation.
“How could they have smuggled him out of the country like he was already a condemned prisoner that is being taken to the gallows?” she commented.
|The Family of Chief Sam Hingha Norman at the Awareness Times offices last night|
Miss Juliet Norman on behalf of the Norman Family (who all accompanied her to the Awareness Times offices last night) and on behalf of her father called on the international community especially Human Rights bodies to impress on the Special Court for Sierra Leone to bring back her father to Sierra Leone or to take him to international standard hospital and to also ensure the presence of at least a member of their family where ever he was to undergo his operation.
She said she was making this call because “I am not actually sure whether Papa would receive the kind of attention a surgical patient deserves if he is forced to be operated on. I truly do not have any confidence that he would be treated accordingly”, Miss Norman asserted.
|The daughter of Chief Sam Hingha Norman at the Awareness Times offices last night.|
Since agents of the Special Court arrested him on 10th March 2003, Chief Norman has been complaining of pains in his right thigh, which he attributed to a fall in the vehicle which was transporting him to the Special Court. He had complained that his hands were handcuffed behind his back and his right foot chained which made it impossible for him to gain his balance in the speeding vehicle when he had to fall heavily on his right side.
The operation that is to be performed upon him is expected to be a hip replacement operation.
In a passionate appeal last night to Awareness Times, Chief Norman pleaded for this newspaper to ensure that the world got to know of his plight.
“I hope that you will not allow yourselves to be intimidated into not letting the world know of what has happened to me in Senegal.” he pleaded.
The South African Network of Skills Abroad (SANSA) is an example. Through its website, it invites professional South Africans to sign up. It reports that at least 22,000 graduates from five major South African universities resident abroad remain in touch with the universities. Looking at the nature of their skills, the group estimates that about 30 per cent of the University of Cape Town ‘s contactable doctoral graduates are living overseas. Whatever ideas are experimented with, it is what the politicians make of a country like Sierra Leone that matters.
After long standing speculations over who is going to be appointed as Vice -President Solomon Berewa’s running mate for the July 28th elections, President Alhaji Dr. Ahmed Tejan Kabbah yesterday bluntly told members of the Sierra Leone Peoples’ Party ( SLPP) that the issues of who will be the party’s presidential nominee is left with the leader (Mr. Berewa.)
President Kabbah made the pronouncement at the unveiling ceremony of the SLPP national Secretariat where he confidently reassured Mr. Berewa that he will be the next presidents of Sierra Leone come July 28th this year.
Statement by the Registrar of the Special Court, Freetown.
This morning at 7:45 a.m. an operation began to move two detainees of the Special Court, Sam Hinga Norman and Issa Hassan Sesay, to Senegal for medical treatment.
The two detainees were airlifted by U.N. helicopter from the Special Court’s helipad and flown to Lungi International Airport. From there, they were flown by plane to Dakar.
Today’s operation was made possible by an agreement concluded in September between the Government of Senegal and the Special Court. The agreement provides for the provision of medical services for detainees which cannot be provided locally.
I wish to thank the Government of Senegal for their assistance to the Special Court, and to all who worked to bring about the agreement. In addition, I thank the United Nations, the UNMIL Mongolian Guard Force and the Government of Sierra Leone for providing logistics and security for today’s operation.
The Rules which govern the treatment of detainees in international courts forbid the public disclosure of medical information on detainees for reasons of privacy. We have previously said that neither suffers from any life-threatening condition and that continues to be the case.
The medical procedures in each case are considered routine. The two detainees will be returned to the Special Court once the treatment has been concluded.
SPECIAL COURT FOR SIERRA LEONE
OFFICE OF THE PROSECUTOR
Freetown, 17 January 2007
Statement by Special Court Prosecutor Stephen Rapp.
The Prosecutor was introduced by Mr. Lovemore Munlo, Registrar of the Special Court
Thank you, Lovemore, for your kind introduction. Thank you also to the Sierra Leone News Agency for hosting this event. It is wonderful to be here with you all and I am very pleased that my first press conference as the Prosecutor of the Special Court is with you, the journalists of Sierra Leone. I wanted to be sure that before I spoke with the international press, I first met with Sierra Leone’s domestic reporters so that I could tell you personally how important I believe the work of the Special Court is to the people of this country, and to its future.
First, please let me tell you a bit about myself. I am originally from a small town in the state of Iowa, in the United States. In my early career I worked in private practice, on the staff of the US Senate in Washington, DC and as an elected representative in Iowa. In 1993 former President Bill Clinton appointed me as a United States Attorney for Northern Iowa, where I served until 2001. I then joined the Prosecution at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. There I acted as the Senior Trial Attorney of what has been called the “Media Trial.” The defendants in the case were accused of committing genocide and crimes against humanity by virtue of the terrible hate speech they spread over a radio station and through a newspaper. I am very proud of the convictions we secured in that case. After the trial, I became the Chief of Prosecutions at the ICTR, a position I held until coming here to the Special Court.
Becoming the Prosecutor is truly a dream come true for me. I am honored and humbled to be part of such an important endeavor in the history of this country, an endeavor that I believe is marking a turning point for Sierra Leone. Since the end of the war, the international community, the government of Sierra Leone and the people of this nation have been working to create a more stable, prosperous and just society. The Special Court is certainly not the only part of this effort, but it is indeed a crucial component. The Court is both a concrete example and a symbol of this turning point. For many years there was chaos, now there is order. Where once there was volatility and violence, now there is peace. Where once wicked men shattered many thousands of lives, now impunity no longer reigns.
This Court also represents a greater hope for the international community as a whole. In the words of the United Nations Security Council, it is part of an effort “to end impunity, establish the rule of law and promote respect for human rights and to restore and maintain international peace and security.”
The Court has recently reached a significant milestone with the completion of the trial phases of the CDF and the AFRC cases. In the coming months the judges in these cases will render their verdicts. The RUF trial continues in May with the presentation of the Defense case. Finally, the trial of Charles Taylor will begin this year in The Hague. The Court’s Outreach Program has capitalized on the Court’s domestic location to communicate the Court’s message to every corner of the country and ensure a maximum number of citizens learn about what is happening in the case. For this reason, some are concerned about the decision to move the trial of Charles Taylor to The Hague. While I support this decision as necessary for the stability of the region, let me say how important I believe it is that the Taylor trial be brought home to the people of Sierra Leone. Every effort is and will be made to ensure that Sierra Leoneans have transparent access to this trial. Each case at the Special Court is heard, argued and decided upon in the name of the people of Sierra Leone, and the many miles between here and Mr. Taylor will not change that.
Let me say once again how pleased I am to be with you today and how honored I am to be part of this significant chapter in the history of Sierra Leone. I will be happy to take your questions.