The Sierra Leone Police (SLP) have reacted to a recent amnesty report released on March 20, 2023, accusing them of using excessive force on protesters, leading to several deaths and injuries.

The said report is titled: “Seven Months after August’s protests which turned violent in some locations, no justice yet for those injured or the families Killed”.

Amnesty revealed that based on collected testimonies, the Sierra Leone security forces allegedly used force to crack down on protesters which turned violent.

However, the Sierra Leone Police in their public notice dated 24 March 2023 viewed this report as “biased, distorted, and partial.”

The Police stated that it is concerned not only about the veracity of the allegations contained in the report but also about how they were presented against them.

Therefore, they made the following clarifications:

1. The use of force by the Sierra Leone Police to contain the violent insurrection in August 2022 was proportional, reasonable, and necessary given the facts and circumstances to accomplish a legitimate law enforcement purpose.

2. A Special Investigation Committee was established by His Excellency Brigadier (Rtd.) Julius Maada Bio on 24th August 2022 to examine, among other things, the consequences of the insurrection and the response of the security forces. Therefore, any official police investigation into the killings of protesters and bystanders may have prejudiced the outcome of the Special Investigation Committee.

3. While we continue to express sorrow for the loss of lives generally. (Xanax) Amnesty International fails to report on the savage manner in which unarmed Police Officers were chased and brutally murdered by civilians to the extent of beating their dead bodies. This apparent omission by Amnesty International undermines the impartiality of the report. Further, it is insensitive to the plight of families of slain Police Officers and a dereliction of duty.

4. The Criminal Investigations Department provided all detainees, who were arrested following the August insurrection, access to their lawyers in compliance with due process.”

Sierra Leone Police has reassured the public and all international partners that its primary responsibility for law enforcement and crime investigation would be discharged in compliance with international and national human rights standards.”