By Abu Shaw in London (14/04/2021)
Violence against citizens, who criticise the ruling SLPP government of President Julius Maada Bio, continues to be the new normal in Sierra Leone.
It is succinct that there are no more human rights and free expression in Sierra Leone today. A female medical doctor who works at the Connaught Hospital in Freetown is the latest victim of SLPP police brutality and violence. The doctor was beaten and wounded by government thugs including officials of the Health and Sanitation Ministry right inside the hospital. This barbaric incident took place yesterday in broad daylight as eyewitnesses stood in awe watching as the violence was unleashed on the innocent doctor. (Photo: Dr Catherine Jackson Cole after being beaten by police yesterday).
The SLPP Police were ordered by certain violent-oriented Health Ministry officials to beat up the medical doctor for simply highlighting the rising volume of rubbish and human wastes littering the compound of the Connaught Hospital in Freetown. The litters, including abandoned papers and used clothing, etc were seen scattered in every nook and cranny of the Hospital compound since last week, much to the chagrin of the patients and the public in general.
The litter eyesore was first publicised on social media by other disgruntled people in order to warn the stakeholders to do something positive to clean up the mess at the hospital. But nothing seemed to have moved the reluctant health authorities to clean the place. It was subsequently disclosed that the cleaners at the Connaught Hospital have not been paid for over one year now. The unhappy cleaners had decided to down their tools as a result and now rubbish and dirty litter are threatening the health and safety of everyone. (Photo: Dr Cole’s left elbow injured by the police).
Reports say the brave medical practitioner Dr Catherine Jackson Cole after having tried in vain to complain to the appropriate authorities to take action i.e. to pay the cleaners to facilitate the cleaning of the filths, decided to up the game by publicising the filthiness of the Connaught Hospital on social media. This did not go down well with the dirty Health Ministry. After they discovered that the post was done by Dr Jackson Cole, they pounced on her for ‘tarnishing the image’ of the SLPP government.
It reportedly angered the Health Ministry officials so much that they authorised the SLPP police officers to beat up the female doctor. Dr Jackson Cole was also physically assaulted by the top staff of the Health Ministry. Reports say it was the Permanent Secretary of Health, the Chief Medical Officer, and the Deputy Minister of Health 1 who were responsible for the assault because they do not like the video showing the deplorable health conditions of the hospital posted by Dr Jackson Cole. (Photo: Dr Cole’s colleague doctors at the Police Station).
Sources say Dr Jackson Cole was really annoyed after finding out that the health authorities were planning to bring in new cleaners rather than pay the old cleaners who are legitimately on strike for late payments of their salaries. This action by the doctor further incensed the health authorities’ anger who eventually ordered the police to beat and arrest her. Dr Jackson Cole was whisked off to the Central Police Station where her colleague doctors at Connaught Hospital also joined her in a solidarity protest at the Police Station.
Eyewitnesses say Dr Jackson Cole was working at the Outpatient Ward yesterday afternoon when the SLPP police and the other Health Ministry thugs attacked her for the social media post. One of the guards identified Dr Jackson Cole before she was attacked and beaten up badly in her blue hospital uniform leaving all those present in total shock. They accused the doctor of spoilinCg the name of the SLPP government. “This is the first time such a bad thing like beating a doctor has happened at the hospital,” an angry Nurse confided last night.
Courtesy of The Organizer 14 April 2021