Alleged Police Brutality at Mile 91: A Case for Speedy Investigation
CONSORTIUM FOR DEMOCRACY, HUMAN RIGHTS AND GOOD GOVERNANCE-SL
11th September, 2018.
Alleged Police Brutality at Mile 91: a case for Speedy Investigation
On Sunday 9th September 2018, at about 7:00 am, we received a distress call from residents of the villages of Mathibo and Massengbeh, ten miles off Mile 91, Tonkolili District, Northern Province of Sierra Leone.
The information received suggested that a group of security personnel stormed their communities between the hours of 4 to 7 in the morning. They alleged that a large number of security personnel violently attacked their homes with lethal weapons, terrorised, looted, and carted away their property (motor bikes, monies and assorted farm produce); and eventually killed a 29-year old Abdul Kaimbay Kamara from Massengbeh village.
As a responsible Consortium that promotes human rights and democratic good governance, we made a rapid response and visited the scene of the incident to ascertain the veracity of the allegations. We arrived at the scenes of the two villages in the afternoon hours accompanied by two journalists from AYV and 98.1 respectively.
On arrival, we met with the community people who almost ran away for fear of recurrence of the Police raid.
However, we succeeded in pacifying and letting them know that we were not security personnel but civil society activists who came to investigate the incident.
Our findings reveal the following:
▪That the community people were clouded in fear and panic due to the alleged degree of security personnel presence in the night of the incident.
▪That upon our arrival there was no security personnel presence.
▪That the first house in the first village of Mathibo was soiled with blood believed to have oozed from the deceased who was alleged to have been shot by security personnel because he refused to surrender his motor cycle to them.
▪That the village was predominantly agrarian or farming community.
▪That evidence of shot shell bullets and tear gas canisters were found in the community.
▪That evidence of damage was done on property including doors and windows.
▪That monies, motor bikes and agricultural produce were carted away from the people.
▪That an unconfirmed number of community people were arrested and taken away by security personnel.
▪That a large number of family members including women and children fled away and they are yet to be re-united upon our arrival.
▪That the deceased left behind a pregnant woman and two children.
▪That there were private WASSCE students amongst those who were arrested and taken away by security personnel.
▪That the raid was not done in consultation with the Local Unit Commander in whose jurisdiction the incidents occurred.
▪That the Local Unit Commander (LUC) confirmed that he was told by the security personnel that they were on national exercise authorized by State House in Freetown. He went on to say that the use of lethal weapons is a concern and the security personnel appeared like they were prepared for war.
▪That the deceased has been brought to Freetown for post-mortem.
This is not the first time security personnel have been accused of the use of lethal weapons against civilians. We therefore demand the following:
▪That an immediate inquiry be done into the matter.
▪We call on the independent Police Complaint Board to accelerate and judiciously look into the allegations.
▪We demand that the corpse be handed over to the family for a befitting funeral after the post-mortem.
▪We advise that the suspended LUC be reinstated and that he should not suffer adversity for saying the truth as he attributed the qualities of a good citizen.
▪We encourage the media and other Civil Society Organizations to carry out independent investigations into the alleged raid by security personnel.
The consortium for Good Governance Human Rights and Democracy (CGHRD- SL) will not rest until the issue at hand is properly investigated in a free and fair manner, so as to ensure justice.
In light of the above, we are giving the authorities concernd 21 days ultimatum starting today Tuesday, 11th September, 2018 to address the issues and allegations judiciously, otherwise we shall be compelled to call a nationwide protest in defense of Human Rights in our beloved country.
God bless Sierra Leone!
God bless CGDHR-SL !
Thomas PA Babadie
077 595 421
076 820 538
Thomas Moore Conteh
078 246 328
076 752 783
Francis K. Dumbuya
076 891 538
Paul Brima Bangura
C I SL
076 616 829
077 415 693