“Police brutality… rotten” disabled blast
In a bid venting out heartfelt disappointment, the Sierra Leone Union on Disability Issues Western Rural District and Polio Challenged in Grafton have expressed utter disappointment over brutal conducts of some police officers accused of perpetrating crimes against the physically challenged in society. (Photo: Grafton Polio Orphans Home community)
At a press conference held at offices of the Western Area Committee at Circular Road Freetown, it was disclosed that police brutalities and human right abuses are becoming smelling ‘rotten,’ and targets people with disabilities in the recent days, months and years.
In his measurement, the Chairman Polio Challenged Association in Grafton, Sylvanus Bundu, reflects on the 11th June 2011 skirmishes between youths of Kossoh Town and Grafton that eventually resulted to the death of a journalist.
He said that disabled persons living in Grafton were taken hostage by hoodlums of both Kossoh Town and Grafton communities respectively.
He furthered though that the police were unable to contain a multitude of attacking youths because they were taking sides.
“Families of polio persons – wives, children etc, were brutalized, savagely beaten up/otherwise abused by violent youth who had the backing of the police at Jui barracks.
The Chairman furthered that the police inflicted injuries owing to the use of machetes, stones against polio persons nay inflicting serious destruction on them.
A victim, Esther Chaspo, who suffered a fractured leg during the incident and who also, is the wife of a disabled man said, on the day in question, she was at home awaiting the return of her son who was at the stream to collect clothes she had laundered.
“Just after the arrival of my son, I was hanging the clothes on a rope when suddenly I noticed the huge presence of police,” she said.
“The police ordered a group of civilians to arrest my son.”
“Upon questioning them why arresting my son, they caught at me and beat me with truncheons in their possession”
The Chairman, Thomas Allieu, accused human rights organizations of giving deaf ears and blinds eyes to serialized violations of rights of persons by the police.
He made mentioned of past police misconducts at the resident of the physically challenged at Ecowas Street in Freetown.
He however called on government to institute immediate inquiry on the recent Grafton/Kossoh town violence and bring to book persons found culpable.
By Ibrahim Sahid Kamra
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