Human rights activists nationwide are condemning what appears to be the wrongful detentions of young individuals accused of instigating the violent protests that rocked several parts of Sierra Leone, particularly Freetown, on August 10, 2022. Investigations reveal that these identifications are likely politically motivated, orchestrated by supporters of the ruling SLPP Government against perceived political adversaries.
Adding to the complexity, vigilante groups, purportedly aligned with the SLPP, are allegedly involved in covertly targeting and, in some cases, killing fervent supporters of the opposition APC Party. Reports include incidents of passionate APC supporters being identified and fatally shot, generating a climate of fear.
Wellington, a community in the East End of Freetown, was a focal point during the violent protests. Police responded with tear gas and, in some cases, live bullets as tensions flared. Economic hardships and a call for political change fueled the protesters’ grievances, leading to roadblocks, arson, and clashes with the police.
Ibrahim Koroma, a Wellington resident accused of collaborating with a group known as Peoples Power in Politics (PPP), faced retaliation from irate youths aligned with the SLPP. Accused of being a leader in the violent protests, Koroma’s residence was targeted by a group intent on inflicting harm as punishment for perceived disrespect to the President and government.
The Sierra Leone Police have declared Koroma and others wanted, accusing them of leading the August 10 violent protest. Mysterious voices heard near Koroma’s residence have fueled concerns, and there are reports of missing individuals involved in the protests. Some identified protesters have faced legal proceedings, while others remain unaccounted for.
At present, Ibrahim Koroma’s whereabouts remain unknown.