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‘’ POLICE MUST EXERCISE MAXIMUM RESTRAINT, AVIOD USING EXCESSIVE FORCE’’ -SDI urged

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‘’ POLICE MUST EXERCISE MAXIMUM RESTRAINT, AVOID USING EXCESSIVE FORCE’’

-SDI urged

Society for Democratic Initiatives (SDI), has totally condemns the loss of life of a 29-year-old man in Messengbeh Village, Mile 91 during a raid by the Sierra Leone Police over the weekend.

SDI press release urged the Sierra Leone Police to always exercise maximum restraint and avoid using excessive force in their operations.

The release stated that Sierra Leone is not a police state and that the police should treat their constitutional mandate of protecting lives and property of Sierra Leoneans very seriously.

It stated that over the years, they have seen incidences of the violation of the constitutional mandate in the discharge of their duties.

They also call on the Attorney General and Minister of Justice to look into this matter and to ensure appropriate measures are taken to stamp out police use of excessive force and the impunity that goes with it.

SDI also reiterated to the Police and the Independent Police Complaints Board(IPCB) to speedily and transparently investigate the matter. (see press release below)

 

13th September, 2018.

PRESS RELEASE

SDI CONDEMNS THE KILLING OF THE 29 YEAR OLD MAN IN MASSENGBEH VILLAGE, MILE 91 BY THE SIERRA LEONE POLICE

Society for Democratic Initiatives (SDI) totally condemns the loss of life of a 29 year old man in Massengbeh Village, Mile 91 during a raid by the Sierra Leone Police over the weekend.

The Sierra Leone Police has a constitutional mandate to protect the lives and property of Sierra Leoneans, but over the years, we have seen incidences of the violation of the constitutional mandate in the discharge of their duties.

SDI is further concerned that impunity of police abuses is deeply entrenched in Sierra Leone as the police have used excessive force including lethal force in the discharge of their constitutional duty in previous cases. On March 23 2017, a young Sierra Leonean boy was shot dead and two students were injured by gunshots in Bo when the Operations Support Division (OSD) of the Police fired live ammunition to disperse unarmed students protesting against the closure of Njala University. Similarly, the Sierra Leone Police on the 16th August 2016, two boys were killed and four men injured by gunshots when OSD police officers opened fire on youth protesters in Kabala in what was regarded as unlawful and excessive use of force.

In all of these, SDI is unaware of any Police Officer held responsible for any of the incidents mentioned above despite recommendations from the Independent Police Complaints Board (IPCB) and Commissions of Inquiry. While there have been internal Police investigations into some of the cases by the Complaints Discipline and Internal Investigation Department (CDIID),there has been insufficient public information about disciplinary measures taken against Police officers or what steps were taken towards internal police reform.

SDI calls on the IPCB to speedily carry out the investigation already instituted and the police hierarchy brings to book all those who are responsible for the killing of another Sierra Leonean.

We also urge the Attorney General and Minister of Justice to look into this matter and to ensure appropriate measures are taken to stamp out police use of excessive force and the impunity that goes with it

SDI also calls on the Sierra Leone Police to use maximum restraints in their operations noting that Sierra Leone is not a Police state, and to treat their constitutional mandate of protecting lives and property of Sierra Leoneans very seriously.

Finally, we call on the Police and the Independent Police Complaints Board to speedilyand transparently investigate the matter.

End of release

 Signed:

 Emmanuel Saffa Abdulai Esq.

Executive Director

 

 

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