The Western Region branch of the main opposition All People’s Congress (APC) issued a press release on May 21, 2023, strongly denouncing the police’s excessive use of force during a peaceful jogging exercise in Tombo Community on the same day.

The APC expresses deep concern and anger regarding the police’s disruption of a peaceful jogging event, which involved the use of tear gas and live ammunition, thereby endangering the lives and well-being of innocent citizens.

According to the press release, the attack on the people of Tombo was carried out by the Waterloo Police Division, led by ASP Septimus, the operation officer. It is alleged that ASP Septimus has pledged to consistently disturb the activities of the All People’s Congress and put their lives in danger.

The press release further discloses that the incident occurred during a peaceful jogging event organized by the residents of Tombo Community. The purpose of the event was to promote physical fitness, community engagement, and foster unity among the participants. Unfortunately, instead of providing a safe and supportive environment for the community to engage in healthy activities, the police intervention escalated the situation, causing unnecessary chaos and panic.

The release also disclosed that the APC is also aware of the jogging activities organized by the Sierra Leone People’s Party, where police security was provided during their jogging in Tombo.

They added that the APC firmly upholds the fundamental rights of citizens to peacefully gather and partake in activities that contribute to their physical and mental well-being. The use of tear gas and live ammunition against peaceful citizens engaged in harmless exercise not only violates their rights but also represents a clear abuse of power by the police.

They concluded by urging the relevant authorities to conduct a thorough investigation into this incident.