Sierra Leone Telegraph: 16 April 2023:
Just when you think that the ink is about to dry on the latest report by the Human Rights Commission of Sierra Leone into police brutality at a student demonstration in Freetown last Monday, where heavily armed police officers fired shots at protesting students and stripped a female student before she was arrested, a young man was shot dead by armed police in Hastings yesterday in a private land dispute.
According to the video below – it appears the young man was shot dead at least twice, over the use of a mobile phone.
The government has proposed a legislation called Cybercrime law which critics say will curtail citizens’ rights to use their mobile phone to record and share their experiences, as well as impinge on their civil liberty.
But as questions are being asked once again about the highhandedness of the police and the fatal use of guns at every opportunity, there are calls for the Inspector General of Police to be sacked.
Why do you pass comments without investigation? You heard a part of the story and you finalised your judgement. Even from the video that bloody civilian was trying to struggle the rifle without the police. It would have been better you hear the other part of the story.
This is what all of human have to avoid, taking an innocent life that you did not create. H.E. Bio is against this kind of barbaric killing. I see no reason why this young should died this way, come on now!. What kind of level of threat was the policeman facing? I think none. This matter has to be investigated thoroughly to see if this policeman is actually well trained to carry rifle. In fact why are most of our “LEOs” taken this habit of carrying weapons while fingers are directly on the trigger? sometimes I get scared when I see an officer coming very close to my site. May the young man’s gentle soul rest in peace.
I’m in pain when my people are dying every single day in Sierra Leone. A peaceful government was handed over to president Bio. The world knows that, during the reign of president Koroma, Sierra Leone was moving in rapid pace in terms of development, unity, and freedom. When president Maada Bio took power, his first indoors meeting clearly spelt out – in his own words, that his cabinet members don’t need to be kind to the people; they need to be hard on them. Moreover, the first lady also added to it that Sierra Leoneans need MOB JUSTICE. And we are seeing all of this today.
What Mr. Bio’s government is doing is that, they keep on bribing our natural resources to international representatives to cover their dirty habits within the country. We clearly see it because the American ambassador in Sierra Leone always keep on praising the government of president Bio in terms of good governance despite all the killings,
intimidation, unlawful arrest and much more.
The American government needs to do something faster for the innocent lives in Sierra Leone. I kindly call upon the world to rescue my people in Sierra Leone. They are more than the word “slavery” under the leadership of president Bio. Sincerely, Mohamed Kanu
The situation in Sierra Leone is getting worse under the leadership of president Maada Bio. His government is killing it’s people every single day. People have been complaining a lot – to ECOWAS, International Body etc. I don’t get it because the level in which Sierra Leone is getting now is to go back to another senseless war due to our reckless and selfish leaders. I kindly call upon the ECOWAS, European union, America etc. to help the people of Sierra Leone for them to get back their freedom, liberty and justice. My people are more than the word slavery in their own territory under the leadership of president Bio. We have the American Embassy there in Sierra Leone; they see all what is happening in the country instead they keep on given good credit in terms of the governance of Mr. Bio.
I kindly call upon the president of the United States to stand firm and help my people in Sierra Leone. The current administration is only there for intimidation, unlawful arrest, killing, and much more. President Biden, if you don’t stop this mess – am afraid my country will go back to another senseless war. Please President Biden, help my people – they are dying every single day.
Sincerely, Mohamed Kanu.
Bring me a fresh bouquet of yellow roses and lilies so we can moan and groan for a young man killed by the Police and for Sierra Leone. Bring me a bowl of fresh water so that we can mourn,moan,groan and wash our innocent hands clean over and over as a sign of newer and brighter days soon to come. A young man is now gone forever,his life snuffed out like a candle in a raging storm,never to be seen ever again,never to observe the majestic sun, and moon in their mesmerizing splendour ever again. Is this what we bargained for? A broken nation that has completely lost its way under the control of a criminal government that has transformed itself into a slaughter house for innocent souls?
Indeed! Gone forever but not forgotten;Gone to a place of solitude leaving behind the President and his henchmen with a heavy cross of Guilt to carry for eons and millenniums yet to come; The blood stained hands of the Police and members of the SLPP cabal and Prezo can never be washed clean because they have already sold their souls to the devil. Its morning in Freetown and they are seriously in mourning – a young man is dead. There are tell tale signs of impending disaster everywhere reminding us that the pits of hell are going to become these Criminals perennial abode.
Is anyone, anywhere in our country still shedding tears for the 40 unarmed prisoners killed in the Prison riots? And who is it among you that still believes in this rotten,superficial, dysfunctional government that has no amount of credibility whatsoever? In Sierra Leone the motto of the Police – To Protect and Serve has been thrown out of the window and replaced under Bio with the words;” To kill,burn,plunder ransack and Destroy.”(lol)
Today 17th April 2021 and for the foreseeable future, Sierra Leone continues as a lawless and failed state dominated by the wrong types of Leaderships! How do we get out of this situation? Inputs invited! Seton During
Mr During here is my suggestion. At present we have three types of security forces in our country. The Republic of Sierra Leone armed forces, the civilian police that wears bule or navy uniform and control the flow of traffic and manned local police stations in their communities up and down the country. Majority of times these police officers, that sometimes act as neighbourhood officers are well known within their communities because they are unarmed and they come from those communities. Then you have SSD formely known back in the days as ISU. They were setup by the Stevens government to counter any military coup attempt. That is why you will be hard pressed to see members of tbe Sierra Leone Armed forces walking around with guns.
So since military coups are now out of fashion in Africa, and is frowned upon by all international organisations for which our country is a member, like ECOWAS, the United Nations, African Union, what is the point of having trigger happy SSD officers as officially the only security organisation allowed to carry guns. Why can’t Bio establish a presidential protection force similar to the secret service of the United States and disband this unit. Or better still integrate them into regular police force. Some of them can form as the state house and parliamentary police force also responsible for guarding government buildings.
Leave policing to the community police officers to deal with issues like reporting and drawing up cases for land disputes for the courts to decide the outcome not a lone ranger SSD police officer with a gun. The issue of land in Freetown is heating up. My brother is going through the same problems. After aquiring his land legitimately, and with all the paper work at hand, a similar sort of thuggery turned up on his land removing his fencing. This land issue needs to be sorted out. It cannot be right, after we were promised this new minister for lands will come up with right to ownership of land, a youngman is killed because someone wants to take advantage of his family. May his soul rest in peace.
It is clear: the thuggish police officer should be striped of his uniform, arrested and charged to court for murder. A dangerous man cannot be kept in our police force; gets paid, together with a sack of rice. And with that IPAM incident, the nation is safer when these criminals are kept behind bars or better still face the gallows.
I personally believe that this situation must be properly investigated. Based on this video I don’t see any reason for firing a gun or killing this young man. May his Soul Rest In Peace.
This heavy handedness by some bent cops in the Sierra Leone police, is just following the crooked hand book manual, handed down to them by Bio and his propaganda in chief inspector General of police Mr Soluva. Time and time again, we’ve witnessed this same Sierra Leone police force exercise restrain when it comes to law enforcement or policing protestors that supports Bio. And we know with evidence that they only use trigger when it applies to protesting youths that goes against the interest of Bio and his government supporters. Its not beyond the realm of possibilities that some of these bad apples, within the Sierra Leone police force are former rebel RUF fighters that went through the demobilisation program, but their mentally is still wedded in the RUF mentality of shoot first and ask questions later.They can use cutlass for amputation because with tax payers money, they are now well looked after. And in turn their thank you to the public that they are meant to serve is to shoot at them and their children.
We need to disband the Sierra Leone police force. And weed out all fomer rebel fighters that swapped their alliance from Foday Sankoh and Sam Bockarie to Bio and Mr Ambrose Soluva the reincarnation of those two rebel leaders that brought so much suffering to families like us in Sierra Leone in which fifty thousand people lost their lives. We need to take these criminals to task. There is little comfort to say the RUF war is over.For some members of the Sierra Leone police force, its a continuation of that war only this time sanctioned by an elected government. Since he got sworn in, for many families that have so far lost loved ones under Bio’s watch, Pademba Road, Makeni, the list goes on and on, the idea our country is at peace, will ring hallow in their ears.
I think human rights watch, and Amnesty International should start documenting these atrocities taking place under the watchful eye of Bio. We call on the diplomatic Community to put pressure on Bio and his henchmen to investigate these police brutalities. It cannot be right to be business as usual, if Bio and the Sierra Leone police continue on this path by waging an undeclared war on the civilian population. It undermines the security of Sierra Leone.
These officers and their commanding officer should be arrested, and make them account for their murderous activities. You can’t have criminals wearing a a Sierra Leone police uniform, acting like the the judge, the jury and the executioner, any time they come in contact with young men and women. In the eyes of trigger happy police officers, the life of the young Sierra Leonean young man is worth less than a mobile. What a state of affairs has Bio and his government created in our country. The Sierra Leone police are now killing more of our young men and women, denying our country future contributors to any development prospects they might have contributed in our country.Every day we see this sort of police action, is like they are sowing the seeds of injustice within our communities.
It will come to a time when people will say they have had enough of it. Especially those families and friends that lost loved ones in this undeclared war by Bio. Every person thatis killed or beaten up by these thugs in uniform, bring us closer to the choas and insecurity that have gripped the nation. No one feels safe anymore. The security in the country has been undermined by Bio and his thuggish security forces. Bio and his government are slowly but surely leading us to a path no one wants to go. Indeed it will be tragic if any civil disobedience come to pass. No one in their rigth mind wants to plunge our country to civil war. Because you get all these jihadist coming in and taking advantage of the situation. The Sierra Leone police force that took an oath to respct and protect the life and property, are becoming like an occupying force in some of our communities.
And Bio the God Father of violence has once again displayed utter contempt towards the citizens of Sierra Leone. Where is this leading our country? A family is morning their loss, not out of the Covid 19 pandemic, but the pandemic of undisciplined Sierra Leone police officers hunting down youngmen and women like in a safari game reserve. Even those wild animals are more secure and protected than the average young man and woman, that fall foul in the hands of these trigger happy officers.
Amadou , the unprofessional conduct of the SLP has got nothing to do with the RUF. The Force has always been unprofessional and may continue so until its fully independent and susceptible to law suits from private citizens. Moreover, the issue is not about ‘illiteracy’ label we easily throw at the misconduct of the police because today most officers are school leavers to graduate levels. It’s about our attitude and thirst for money that drives our inhumane conduct.
This issue of police using live bullets in their interventions in normal disputes, strike actions to name but a few,has become common in the SLP. This is because the SLP believe that it’s above the law of Sierra Leone, and that’s why it doesn’t care of using it wrongly or whatever you call it. I just want to send my sympathy to the family of the deceased for their loss. But no action is going to be taken in return.
Mr Abdul Daboh, I’m not suggesting with certainty they are RUF fighters. I said there is the possibility. If we know the background of some of these police officers and established beyond reasonable doubt that indeed they were members of the RUF, before they were demobilised and decided to join the Sierra leone police force then I can state categorically they are former members of the RUF. My sentence if you read it correctly, and interpret it correctly, I said there is the possibility we have former RUF fighters or child soldiers that are now grown men, or indeed members of any of the Armed groups, that took part in the fighting in the country. The West Side Boys, the Kamajors, the SOBELS, or indeed members of the armed forces of Sierra Leone. Let’s not forget we had eleven years of wars. And we are still living with it consequences today.
At its heights we had about seventy thousand armed men and women. During the demobilisation process, people were surprised at the type of sophisticated weaponry the rebel groups had. The problem we had, not every one who took part in that violence against their fellow Sierra Leoneans were made to account for their actions. We had child soldiers. They were not indicted by the special court. Which left a huge vacuum for accountability for their heinous crimes. Those children are now grown men in their twenties and thirties. Where is the government programme or the follow up of what happens to all those former fighters? Where are they? Is the vetting process to join the police service strong enough. We have a whole lost generation.
These are the sorts of problems our government should be working with our international partners and NGOs to know what exactly happened to the former seventy thousand ex combatants, otherwise we are storing more problems in our country. Instead of that Bio and his government are creating more problems to reactivate these ex combatants which may manifest into something like we saw in Hastings – the killing of this unarmed young man with no provocation.
That’s outright criminal behaviour of the Police who fired the fatal shot; if found guilty, he should face the maximum sentence of the law for murder.
Time without number, patriotic Sierra Leoneans like myself have my sounding the alarm bell all along about the seemly lawlessness and thuggish nature of our political leadership. On numerous occasions as reported by this respectable medium and other news outlet, we have observed how current cabinet members with uncontrollable impulses sanctioned the use of lethal force (live bullet firing) to political dissent and other riotous conducts, with the leader of the nation even coming out to label some citizens as TERRORIST.
Just this past week alone, we have heard of police brutality against female unsuspecting students at IPAM, along with the deputy health minister involving in physically assaulting a female doctor, with the president and the police leadership staying mute about it. So with junior officers in the police force seemly having the full blessing from the political leadership to unleash terror at innocent citizens, reports and murderous incidents like this perpetrated by law enforcements are bound to continue.
It’s a natural expectation, if i can go around looting banks on broad day light with law enforcement officers turning a blind eye on me, chances are, i will continue to do the same. So folks, there should be no surprise on what is currently happening in our nation, it’s nothing but a lack of leadership at the top. We have had 2 civilian presidents after the war, late pa Kabbah and EBK, both had an exemplary track record when it comes to citizens feeling a sense of security. The current regime with a ex-military at the helm as proving to be rudderless one, everyone is taking the law at their own hands with trigger happy law enforcement personnel having field days.
A trigger happy police force must be disbanded.