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Sierra Leone police brutality against protesting students condemned

Sierra Leone police brutality against protesting students condemned

Sierra Leone

Police in Sierra Leone are reported to have opened fire on protesting students killing one and leaving others injured on Thursday in Bo, the second largest city in the country.

The students from Njala University near the city were protesting against lecturers’ strike since October last year due to unpaid salaries by the government.

Amnesty International condemned the action of the police which they described as a tragedy and a heavy handed response.

“We urge the police to refrain from committing human rights violations and instead allow the students to safely exercise their rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly,” Amnesty International West Africa researcher, Sabrina Mahtani said in a statement.

The authorities must conduct an independent investigation to shed light on the circumstances of this killing and all injuries and, if there is sufficient evidence, ensure accountability through fair trials.

The police on their part said the students had not obtained permission before staging the protest which resulted in burning of tires and blocking major roads.

“The authorities must conduct an independent investigation to shed light on the circumstances of this killing and all injuries and, if there is sufficient evidence, ensure accountability through fair trials,” Amnesty advised.

Students in the capital Freetown are reported to have also demonstrated for the same reason as their colleagues. They were dispersed by police with teargas while about 10 others were arrested in both towns.

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