Karim Kamara and Others Declared Wanted in Connection with August 10 Protest

Karim Kamara.jepg

By Foday Moriba Conteh

Human rights activists across the nation have strongly condemned the unjust and wrongful detentions of young individuals alleged to be the actual instigators of the violent protests that shook parts of the country, including Freetown, the capital, on August 10, 2022, as indicated in certain social media posts.

Upon closer investigation, it has become evident that these false identifications are primarily politically motivated and carried out by supporters of the ruling SLPP Government against those perceived as adversaries of the political establishment.

What has exacerbated the situation is the presence of certain vigilante groups, reportedly comprised of supporters of the ruling SLPP Government, who are allegedly responsible for covertly targeting and killing fervent supporters of the opposition APC Party.

These distressing extra-judicial killings have instilled a sense of fear and dread, particularly when reports emerge of a passionate APC supporter in the Northern Provincial City of Makeni being identified and fatally shot, among other unverified incidents of a similar nature.

Upper Looking Town, Kissy, an emerging community in Freetown, was a focal point during the violent protests, with tensions running high as crowds attempted to advance towards the city center. Police officers responded by firing tear gas canisters and, in some instances, live bullets.

Young protesters voiced their grievances, citing unbearable economic hardships and a demand for political change. Roadblocks were erected, tires were set ablaze, and various projectiles were hurled at the police. In response, the police used tear gas to disperse the sporadic crowds, escalating to the use of live ammunition in some instances, resulting in fatalities.

As the situation calmed down, a resident of Upper Looking Town, Kissy, by the name of Karim Kamara, who is also a member of the Kissy Progressive Organization, was accused by a group of irate youths, believed to be aligned with the ruling SLPP, of being one of the leaders of the violent protest calling for President Julius Maada Bio’s resignation.

This angry group of young SLPP supporters violently advanced toward Karim Kamara’s residence, some brandishing sticks and machetes, with the intent to physically harm him as a lesson for showing disrespect to the President and the government.

The Sierra Leone Police have declared Karim Kamara and others wanted, accusing them of being among the ringleaders of the August 10 violent protest.

A confidential source, speaking on condition of anonymity, revealed that on three occasions, mysterious voices were heard late at night near Karim Kamara’s residence, speaking in hushed tones. Subsequent morning investigations failed to identify the individuals responsible, leading to speculation that these voices belong to those seeking Karim Kamara and two other young men accused of killing a police officer during the August 10 protest.

While some of those identified, arrested, and brought to court for their involvement in the August 10th violent protests have faced legal proceedings and received heavy sentences, there are reports of individuals who have gone missing for several days.

A relative of Karim Kamara, interviewed by one of our reporters, expressed concern about the escalating political tension in the country as the build-up to the 2023 Presidential, Parliamentary, and Municipal Elections continues. In light of these circumstances, it is advisable for Karim Kamara and the others accused of involvement in the violent protests to consider leaving the country.

As of the time of this press release, Karim Kamara’s whereabouts remain unknown.


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