5 November 2012

Sierra Leone: APC, SLPP Scolded for Obscenity

Photo: Tommy Trenchard/IRIN
Youths campaign in Freetown.

The Human Rights Commission of Sierra Leone (HRC-SL) has reproached members and supporters of the ruling All People's Congress (APC) and the opposition Sierra Leone People's Party (SLPP) for the incessant use of indecent, obscene and provocative songs and slogans during their rallies.

In a press release issued Wednesday, the Commission's acting Chairperson, Jamesina King, registered her disappointment that such songs and slogans, most of which are directed at presidential flag-bearers, running-mates and their mothers, ethnic groups and women candidates, have become rampant during political rallies, with complete disregard for the PPRC Code of Conduct, the 2012 Election Declaration, and the Commission's Elections Conference Resolutions, which political parties have committed themselves to.

She also observed with dismay the use of children in political rallies and the indiscriminate use of illicit drugs and alcohol in such rallies.

"The Commission outrightly condemns these acts, especially when they have the potential to expose children to drugs, alcohol and gangsterism; breed hostility, generate violence, and destroy our hard won peace. We therefore call on all political leaders, especially those from the two main parties earlier stated, to encourage their members to refrain from such practices," she noted.

Commissioner King reminded everyone that elections are a means of peacefully exercising democratic rights to choose leaders, and not an excuse for human rights violations and abuse.

She drew the attention of all to an earlier press release issued by the Commission on June 19, 2012, condemning hate political messages and provocative media contents, in which it urged all key election stakeholders to refrain from using them.

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