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Killing of civilians by police/military officers…

Bar Association demands explanation

June 18, 2015 By Ibrahim Tarawallie

Sierra Leone Bar Association has called on both the Inspector General of Police and Army Chief of Staff and those responsible for the affairs of the two institutions to provide the public with unequivocal explanation of the involvement of police and military personnel in the death(s) of persons who have died in their hands this year.

The call by the SLBA comes in the wake of the alleged killing of one Alimamy Kamara of Victoria Street by 16336 Osman Conteh of the Operational Support Division (OSD) headquarters in Freetown on Sunday (June 14) at his home, an incident which brought shock and bewilderment to neighbours.

In a press release issued on Tuesday (June 16) and signed by Secretary General Ibrahim Sorie Koroma, the Bar Association expressed concern that over the last few months there had been a spate of police brutality leading to civilian deaths, and condemned any act of brutality by the SLP against unharmed civilians, in particular the violation of the right to life as guaranteed by section 16(1) of the 1991 Constitution of Sierra Leone.

The Bar Association said they have learnt that the deceased, formerly of Victoria Street in Freetown, was shot by officer 16336 Osman Conteh of the OSD headquarters, who was accompanied by one soldier who is unknown.

“We have gathered that both men are now in custody. The SLBA has visited the scene of the incident, met with the family of the deceased and has had discussions with the police on the said incident,” the release states.

The SLBA also called on the Inspector General of Police, Francis A. Munu, and the Police Council, as well as the military, to investigate the involvement of their respective personnel in the Victoria Street incident and take appropriate actions as soon as possible.

Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Franklyn Obai Kargbo, was also urged to provide support in that regard, and for the police and military to re-examine the code of recruitment and training for officers and men in both forces.

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