Amnesty calls on Sierra Leone to end protest crackdowns

July 3, 2018 GMT

DAKAR, Senegal (AP) — Amnesty International is calling on Sierra Leone’s new government to end police crackdowns on peaceful protesters and improve human rights.

In a new report, the rights group says nine protesters have been killed and more than 80 injured in peaceful demonstrations over the past decade but no police officer has been held criminally responsible.

The report urges the government to restore public trust in security forces by setting up a mechanism to compensate victims of police abuses and by better funding and training the police force.

Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs Lawrence Leema says the three-month-old government led by President Julius Maada Bio “will not stifle the rights of the people” as long as demonstrators respect the law and don’t affect the rights of other people.