Police sources say that they are looking for one Alie Turay, believed to be among the wanted persons for the 10th August violent riot that claimed the lives of some 25 civilians and 5 police officers. Alie Turay is said to have been attending meetings during the planning stages of the said protest, and his name and address were discovered on a phone confiscated from his uncle, Mohamed Sesay, a known opposition party member believed to be the conduit of funds from the planners to youths that were to actively participate in the said protest.
According to the police, on arrival at the Portee Junction residence of Mohamed Sesay, they were confronted by a huge crowd of youths who attacked them, and they had to call for reinforcement. They maintained that Sesay was shot dead and that in his possession was his phone, which has now provided vital information about those involved, and that the names of these people have been circulated for information leading to their arrest, plus a bounty for any information that will ensure their arrest.
In our investigation of the information from the police, this medium visited the Portee Junction area and interviewed several eyewitnesses and residents in the area. All those interviewed spoke to us on the basis of anonymity for security reasons.
They further said that a large crowd of youths had gathered at the residence of Mohamed Sesay, a known opposition party member, but that they did not attack the police. The said protesters were protesting against the cost of living in the country and were attached by a combination of military and police officers, believed to be trigger happy.
It was disclosed that the security forces stormed the residence of Mohamed Sesay, firing indiscriminately at any standing object, eventually killing Mr. Sesay and setting a house in the backyard on fire. Eyewitnesses say that his nephew, Alie was sent by Mohamed Sesay to cash out from his mobile account, in which Sesay had transacted some cash, to prove food and water for the protesters. On returning home, he discovered that there was fire in his compound and a heavier armed second presence was in the area, with their vehicle parked in front of the house.
The eyewitness disclosed that he too was with Alie watching the incident unfold, but when the officers opened fire, he and Alie took refuge at another friend’s house.
Watching from behind closed windows, they saw people being shot at point blank range by the officers. While in the house they got information via social media that a curfew had been declared to commence at 3:00 pm, barely minutes away. Our source furthered that their friend, who haboured them, went out to the front of the house to ease himself and was immediately shot dead by the officers, who were now in the company of the current Deputy Internal Affairs Minister and ruling party youths, who were busy identifying people believed to be opposition party supporters, and these were gunned down when they try to escape or arrested.
Against this backdrop and the house-to-house search that the officers had embarked on, our witness said that he and Alie escaped through the back door, climbing over a fence into a nearby slum community, where they lost each other as residents there were abandoning their houses in search of safe havens.
It was also disclosed by another eye witness that since the killing of Alie’s uncle, all the family members have disappeared, as the police have described them as part of the planners and should be arrested. Other sources say that during the curfew, the security forces raided homes and dragged people out and shot them, after which they loaded the corpses on their pickup vans and disappeared.
This medium attempted to visit the national mortuary in Freetown but was turned back by armed officers. Many relatives of missing persons trying to reach the mortuary to see if their missing members were among the dead were also turned back.
As we go to press, the whereabouts of Alie Turay are yet unknown, feared dead, and family members cannot be located.