The Economics Community of West African States (ECOWAS) court has ruled in favor of Mohamed Morlu, a shooting victim of a peaceful public protest in March 2017.

The ECOWAS Court ordered the government of Sierra Leone to pay compensation to the student who was shot during a peaceful protest in Bo in 2017.

The matter was brought before the ECOWAS court by IHRDA and AdvocAid concerning Sierra Leone Police Accountability.

Mohamed Morlu, a former student in Bo was shot in his abdomen by police in March 2017, and brought legal action at the ECOWAS Court against the government of Sierra Leone in 2022, claiming that the police had violated his right to security and freedom from torture.

Morlu’s lawyers also argued that the government of Sierra Leone violated his right to remedy when they failed to investigate and bring to justice, those responsible for his life changing injuries.

His case was taken to the ECOWAS Court with the support of Advocaid and the Institute for Human Rights Development in Africa (IHRDA). Passing judgement, the ECOWAS Court agreed that the government of Sierra Leone was responsible for violating serveral of Mr Morlu’s rights under the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the Convention Against Torture (CAT); and ordered the government of Sierra Leone to pay financial compensation to Mr Morlu for his injuries and suffering, including infringement of his rights.Eleanor Thompson, legal advocate for Mr Morlu said: “Today’s ECOWAS Court decision is a win for the survivors and for police accountability in Sierra Leone. It adds to jurisprudence on what amounts to torture by law enforcement during protests. Proud to have been part of this legal team.”