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State urged to end police abuses

Publish date: 09 July 2018
Issue Number: 781
Diary: IBA Legalbrief Africa
Category: Sierra Leone

Amnesty International is calling on Sierra Leone's new government to end police crackdowns on peaceful protesters and improve human rights. The rights group says nine protesters have been killed and more than 80 injured in peaceful demonstrations over the past decade but no police officer has been held criminally responsible. The report urges the government to restore public trust in security forces by setting up a mechanism to compensate victims of police abuses and by better funding and training the police force. ‘The authorities must ensure and promote the right of individuals to peacefully assemble without fear for their safety. Sierra Leone’s new government has a key opportunity to implement reforms that would help the police manage demonstrations effectively and safely, restore the public’s trust in the security forces and live up to the police’s own motto – A Force for Good,’ said Solomon Sogbandi, director of Amnesty International Sierra Leone. Since coming to power in April 2018, President Maada Bio has made commitments to reform the security sector and protect human rights in a country where impunity for police abuses is deeply entrenched.

Amnesty International report