Amnesty International demands Police probe into Journalist Ibrahim Samura’s death


June 20, 2018

By Augustine Sankoh

Late Ibrahim Samura: beaten to death?

Executive Director of Amnesty International Sierra Leone, Solomon Sogbandi, has called on the Police to speedily investigate the death of former Managing Editor of New Age Newspaper Ibrahim Samura.

“Amnesty International Sierra Leone is heavily disturbed by the death of journalist Ibrahim Samura, especially the circumstance leading to his death. It has been the practice of successive regimes of attacking journalists and this is something Amnesty is totally against. This is not good for our democracy and it is equally not good for our human rights,” he said.

He emphasised the role played by journalists in the democratisation process, and stressed that if the trend continues it would have the tendency to silence critical voices, adding that they won’t tolerate few people in the state to brutalise journalists and get away with it.

Sogbandi said Amnesty will not only take the issue at the local level, but intend to take it internationally to ensure that the perpetrators face justice, whether they are in the country or not, adding that the issue was of global concern.

“This time round, we are appealing strongly to the Police for action to be taken. So that howsoever is connected to the death of Ibrahim Samura and other journalists that were beaten on polling day are brought to book. This is the time for the Police to stamp their authority and bring the perpetrators to book,” he said.

The Amnesty boss called on the police to work with Interpol in ensuring that perpetrators that are outside the country are brought to book.

“This is not only about Ibrahim Samura; but about impunity.
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It could be any other journalist in the future. Impunity should not be tolerated in our society,” he said.

Samura, father of three, was brutally beaten with chain by party stalwarts of the All People’s Congress (APC) on polling day during the presidential run-off election held on the 31st March this year.

According to eyewitness account, the former Managing Editor of the New Age Newspaper was taking photos of a scuffle at Lumley when he was attacked by supporters of the APC with the aid of security personnel.
The then ruling party took responsibility for the attack and tendered an apology to the victim before the death of the 47-year-old journalist.

An autopsy carried out on the late Managing Editor, who was buried last Sunday, indicates he died of a heart attack caused by a fractured skull which left blood dripping down into his heart and vital organs.