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In a State of State Sponsored Human Rights Abuses

In a State of State Sponsored Human Rights Abuses

The proverbial global village is blind and deaf to the cry of kumbaya in Sierra Leone all over again in the hands of a former military leader imposed upon the people by external regime change forces in the March 2018 presidential election.

Like the manner in which truckloads of police pursued a former minister of government and now opposition politician at Radio Democracy 98.1 FM in Freetown to arrest him for what he had to say about H.E. President (Rtd) Brigadier Julius Maada Bio’s 100-days in power, a joint Sierra Leone Police (SLP) and military (RSLAF) patrol, in the early hours of Sunday 9th of September, raided houses of peasant farmers in Massengheh and Mathibo villages in Tonkolili District in search of Marijuana farms.

But the last time we checked, the houses the SLP and RSLAF broke into and raided for marijuana farms were not greenhouses but small mud peasant houses.

Like in George Washington Williams’ report of atrocities that were committed in King Leopold II’s ironic Congo Free State where he would coin the phrase “crimes against humanity”, ours from President Maada Bio’s Freetown is a deliberate action for the world to know that the order of the day in this country that was once ruled by the same actors and torn by civil war is:

Gang raping of innocent women for their dissenting views in politics; brutal killings of opposition politicians; beating and kicking out opposition members of parliament from the well of parliament; violations of the constitution, the rule of law and acts of parliament; mass sacking of public servants and the refusal of paying their gratuities and pensions; burning and looting of houses and properties of opposition politicians etc.

In Tonkolili District, Mile 91, seven truckloads of armed police and military personnel attacked the villages of Massengbeh and Mathibo with heavy firing of live rounds and teargas at about 5:00 am on the 9th of September 2018.

They shot and killed one Abdul Combay Kamara, age 29 of Massengbeh Village, husband of a pregnant woman and father of two children, wounded several more and arrested thirty-four amidst breaking and entering into several houses and carting away with the harvest, properties and monies of peasant farmers and villagers who had fled for their lives into the bush.

The items looted by the joint military and police patrol according to eyewitness accounts includes motorbikes, bags of groundnuts, and several other items but marijuana.

“All 34 arrested villagers,” according to Hon. Aron Arun Koroma, the member of parliament of constituency (48), the brutalized community by the police in an interview with Radio Democracy stated, “have been left to languish in various police cells in Freetown”.

Mange Mansaray reported for Radio Democracy this morning, Monday 10th September that a woman reported, “About 5:00 a.m. this morning, police came to raid; they violently broke into almost all the houses and fired live bullets all about.

I saw them killed the 29-year old who refused to surrender his bike to them,” she stated. She further explained that, “Le 700,000.00 was taken from me, Le 7,000,000.00 from one other woman, Le 500,000.00 from another house, Le 300,000.00, Le 250,000.00, Le 150,000.00 from other youths here and there.”

Alie Combay Kamara, the dismayed father of the 29-year old who was allegedly killed by the police explained to Hon. Koroma that, “It was during the call to prayer that I sent my son to Mathibo. On his way back, he met the police. They attempted to take his bike from him; he refused and was shot four times with a pistol. My other son was shot at when he tried to rescue his brother but dodged the bullet. He came back to me with blood all over his body only to tell me that they had killed his brother.

I have done nothing wrong to them to deserve this,” Alie lamented. “Honourable, let them just return my son to me so I can bury him. Since they are in power now, I am helpless,” he appealed.

Police Superintendent Almammy Kamara, the Local Unit Commander (LUC) expressed disappointment at the excessive brut force the police used. “Who led this kind of operation here without my knowledge?” he asked. “The operation was like a war waged upon poor farmers. What groundnuts and bikes have to do with marijuana farms?” he asked again.

He reported that he did not know about the raid and was shocked and awed by what happened in his precinct.

According to sources close to the SLP, Superintendent Almammy Kamara has been suspended for talking to the press.

In another incident yesterday in Kenema, 10th September, Nimalty Kamara, owner and publisher of The Elephant Newspaper was pursued by youths of the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) and beaten senseless.

He is presently at the Kenema government hospital fighting for his life.

Nimalty’s crime? He took an interview with Gola Radio in Kenema and stated that the living standard of Sierra Leoneans was far better under the government of former president Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma than it is under the present government of H.E. President (RTD) Brigadier Julius Maada Bio.

These stories, for the most part, are not well covered by the press because the people, the media and civil society organizations operatives are all afraid of their government and it is not a good thing for people to be afraid of their government. 

By Karamoh Kabba 

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