Torture in  [Sierra Leone]  [other countries]
Human Trafficking in  [Sierra Leone]  [other countries]
Street Children in  [Sierra Leone]  [other countries]
Child Prostitution in  [Sierra Leone]  [other countries]

Torture by Police, Forced Disappearance

& Other Ill Treatment

In the early years of the 21st Century                                                          

Republic of Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone is an extremely poor nation with tremendous inequality in income distribution. While it possesses substantial mineral, agricultural, and fishery resources, its physical and social infrastructure is not well developed, and serious social disorders continue to hamper economic development. Nearly half of the working-age population engages in subsistence agriculture. Manufacturing consists mainly of the processing of raw materials and of light manufacturing for the domestic market. Alluvial diamond mining remains the major source of hard currency earnings accounting for nearly half of Sierra Leone's exports.  [The World Factbook, U.S.C.I.A. 2009]

Description: Description: Description: SierraLeone

CAUTION:  The following links have been culled from the web to illuminate the situation in Sierra Leone.  Some of these links may lead to websites that present allegations that are unsubstantiated or even false.  No attempt has been made to validate their authenticity or to verify their content.

*** ARCHIVES ***

Sierra Leone News: Torture Police accused

Betty Milton, Awoko Newspaper, 14 July 2014

[accessed 14 July 2014]

“At this point a plain clothes man named Isreal then showed me a badge saying that he was a police officer attached to the CID, but who investigations revealed is actually attached to the Integrated Intelligence Service (IIS). So he (Isreal) and Chernor (whose money was allegedly stolen) said I had to give them the money or else they will torture me and take me to police. But I told them that I was not the one and I did not steal any money.”

He went on “so they took me to my aunty’s house (where I had been when I.B. called me to come see him) in search of the money but they did not find the said sum. So they took me again to Tengbeh Town where the incident happened and Israel, Chernor, I.B., Sammy and a guy named Collier started beating me. Israel poured a bucket of water on me and Isreal took a hot electric iron and put it on my chest. They started beating me while I.B. was tearing my body with a razor blade.”

After they had finished torturing him, Ade said they decided to forcefully dump him in a barrel containing water for some time and later they took him out again and started pouring gin, hot rub and pepper spray in his eyes “they took pictures, naked picture of me and posted it in “what’s app” to my friends.”

“They told me if I refuse they are going to inject me with acid and I will be in pain till I die, it was at this point that I said the money was at my house. I did this so that they can take me to my house so that my mother will be aware.”

The state of the world's human rights

Amnesty International AI, Annual Report 2013

[accessed 9 Feb 2014]

POLICE AND SECURITY FORCES - In April, police killed an unarmed woman, Musu Conteh, and injured at least 11 others when workers at a mining company held a peaceful demonstration against poor working conditions and remuneration. The Human Rights Commission of Sierra Leone investigated the incident and released its findings in September which included recommendations for criminal investigations and prosecutions. The government initiated a Coroner’s Inquest into the killing but the investigation had not concluded by the end of the year. No one was held to account.

In June, police shot and killed Alieu Sonkoh and Ishmael Kargbo-Sillah in Wellington. A third man was seriously injured. According to the families and community members who witnessed the incident, the unarmed men were part of a neighbourhood watch group who were in the area where police were looking for a vehicle. The President visited the community and set up a Coroner’s Inquest, which closed in July. The results of the investigation had not been made public by the end of the year.

In June, a motorcyclist was shot and killed by police in Goderich when he failed to stop at a police checkpoint. One officer was arrested and charged with murder. The trial continued at the end of the year.

Civil society groups called for an effective independent oversight mechanism to investigate complaints and hold the police to account

Human Rights Reports » 2005 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, March 8, 2006

[accessed 11 February 2013]

TORTURE AND OTHER CRUEL, INHUMAN, OR DEGRADING TREATMENT OR PUNISHMENT – The law prohibits such practices; however, there were reports that security forces beat and raped persons, and that police stole, extorted, and accepted bribes.

Freedom House Country Report - Political Rights: 3   Civil Liberties: 3   Status: Partly Free

2009 Edition

[accessed 11 February 2013]

The judiciary has demonstrated a degree of independence, and a number of trials have been free and fair. However, corruption, poor salaries, and a lack of resources threaten to impede the courts’ future effectiveness, and the new president has yet to carry out his pledge to improve prosecutorial independence by separating the offices of justice minister and attorney general. Arbitrary arrests are common, as are lengthy pretrial detentions under harsh conditions. The local human rights organization Prison Watch reported in February 2008 that nearly half of all inmates had not yet been sentenced.

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Cite this webpage as: Patt, Prof. Martin, " Torture by Police, Forced Disappearance & Other Ill Treatment in the early years of the 21st Century- Sierra Leone",, [accessed <date>]



Torture in  [Sierra Leone]  [other countries]
Human Trafficking in  [Sierra Leone]  [other countries]
Street Children in  [Sierra Leone]  [other countries]
Child Prostitution in  [Sierra Leone]  [other countries]