“Investigate alleged violence and human rights violations in Kailahun” CARL-SL urges Sierra Leone Government
Freetown, Sierra Leone (12th September, 2014): The Centre for Accountability and Rule of Law – Sierra Leone (CARL-SL) today urged the Sierra Leone Government to launch an independent investigation to establish whether probable cause exists to bring to justice those responsible for the alleged incidents of violence and human rights violations that occurred on 4th September, 2014 in Kailahun. CARL-SL has been following the disturbing reports relating to clashes between personnel of the Sierra Leone Police and residents of Kailahun, particularly between the Local Unit Commander and the Chairman of the Kailahun District Council. While these reports await independent verification, CARL-SL is utterly disappointed that no independent inquiry has been launched into the matter since these unfortunate events occurred. It is also unfortunate that residents of Kailahun District had to deal with an atmosphere of violence and insecurity in addition to the traumatic shock the Ebola virus diseas has wreaked on them.
CARL-SL acknowledges and commends the efforts of the Political Parties Registration Commission (PPRC) in helping to restore peace in the town, and particularly between the Chairman of the Kailahun District Council and the Local Unit Commander. However, the peaceful resolution [sic] of the matter by the PPRC does not preclude the state from discharging its responsibility of ensuring justice and accountability for those alleged unlawful conduct and human rights violations.
“Since calm has now been restored to the town, this is a good time to embark on the important process of pursuing justice and accountability for those unfortunate incidents,” CARL-SL’s Executive Director Ibrahim Tommy said, adding, “Peace without justice can only undermine respect for human rights and rule of law.”
CARL-SL is also concerned that there are many complaints of alleged human rights violations against personnel of the Sierra Leone Police which are yet to be investigated. CARL-SL is equally disappointed that there are still many cases relating to politically-motivated violence since 2011 which have not been concluded by the High Court of Sierra Leone. It is critically important that these alleged violations are fully investigated with the view to ensuring accountability and justice for the perpetrators and the victims. CARL-SL also urges the Sierra Leone judiciary and all the parties to the cases aforementioned to conclude these trials without delay. It is important that we are making increasing efforts to bring closure to some of the incidents that remind us about the country’s inglorious and tragic past.
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