BBC News Africa TV documentary exposes political violence, intimidation, and harassment in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 4 March 2024:

The build-up to Sierra Leone’s presidential and general elections which were held in June 2023 brought the country close to widespread anarchy, chaos and instability, as the government’s security forces embarked on an orgy of violent attacks on opposition politicians and their supporters.

With one person shot dead and several injured inside the head office of the main opposition All People’s Congress (APC) Party in Freetown, few had expected the 2023 elections to be free and fair.

There is plenty of video evidence showing senior opposition SLPP politicians fanning the flames of political violence and intimidation, including the wife of the president – Mrs Fatima Bio, prompting calls for investigations by the International Criminal Court.

In the two years leading to the 2023 elections, more than one hundred unarmed protesters including 67 prisoners, and supporters of the opposition had been killed by security forces across Sierra Leone. There are allegations, ruling party agents too were involved in some of the killings.

A BBC News Africa TV documentary released today has exposed serious political violence, intimidation and harassment committed by security forces and ruling party agents in Sierra Leone, in the run-up to last year’s elections.

Mayor of Freetown, Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr is featured in the BBC documentary which shows the Mayor and the opposition APC party presidential candidate and leader – Dr Samura Kamara, close to being assassinated, when security forces opened fire on the APC party office, killing one person.

Writing in a statement today, Mayor Aki-Sawyerr said:  “I am honoured to have my work featured in a BBC documentary and would like to thank On Our Radar and the BBC News Africa for this recognition.

“In November 2022, documentary producers On Our Radar asked if they could do a BBC documentary with a focus on my work as Mayor on the climate crisis – a film crew would follow me from January to August 2023 capturing my day-to-day activities. I agreed and the film crew arrived in Freetown in January 2023.

“At the end of February 2023, local councils were dissolved. I was out of office for most of the period covered by the documentary and the film crew followed me throughout the election season.

“Subsequent to the filming of the documentary, the Agreement for National Unity was signed, under the terms of which I assumed office on 30th October 2023 along with other elected officials of the All People’s Congress Party.

“As Mayor of Freetown, I am working with the central government, our development partners and all Freetonians as we continue the journey to #TransformFrreetown.

“This documentary was produced by the BBC, the BBC has full editorial control over it and it has been released in accordance with the BBC’s own release schedule.”

You can watch the BBC documentary here:



  1. 1 won’t be surprised if BBC Africa Eye are not on the ground investigating the November 28th alleged Coup to sift the facts from the porkies and provide video and audio evidence to Sierra Leone’s kangaroo courts rather than forced and tortured confessional evidence to pass verdicts on the ongoing trials.

  2. BBC, the Almighty God will surely destroy you all for your cooked up plans against our beloved country

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