5Th November, 2010
The Complaint, Discipline &
Internal Investigation Department (CDIID)
Sierra Leone Police Headquarters
Complaint Against Inspector Barrie, Daniel Mongoloh, Others
I wish to complain the aforementioned police officers of the Kissy Police Division, Kissy Mess Mess, Freetown for their physical assault on me on Sunday 31st November, 2010. Inspector Barrie is the head of the Family Support Unit (FSU) of the Kissy Police Division, while Daniel Mongoloh is the Operations Officer at the same station; the other officers who were part of the attack could be identified if seen.
At about 1:30pm on Sunday 31st November, 2010, I and other elderly members of my family were meeting at our 19A City Road, Kissy Mess Mess residence to settle a family matter when some officers who identified themselves as personnel of the Kissy Police Division stormed the residence to effect the arrest of a suspect accused of wounding. But considering the tense atmosphere at the time and the violent manner in which the officers had wanted to effect the arrest – the lady being a suckling mother with her four-month-old baby strapped on her back – myself and some family members kindly asked the officers to allow us quietly take the suspect to the station to avert any acrimonious situation; an advise they were reluctant to heed to. While still on the negotiation, another team comprising OSD and regular police officers led by Inspector Barrie materialized at the scene and started beating people indiscriminately. This action drew a large crowd of people from the neighbourhood. The surprise physical attack on me came after somebody from the crowd identified me as a journalist and suggested that I be trusted by the police to hand over the suspect to them at the station rather than insisting on dragging her to the station since she is a suckling mother and was carrying her baby with her. Before I could know it, Inspector Barrie rushed at me, hit me on my left arm with a club and made advances to put my hands in cuffs. As I struggled to free myself from him, one of the OSD officers that accompanied him to the scene hit me on the head with the handcuff he was holding, leaving me with a deep cut and breeding profusely. Even when people were shouting at the officers to stop manhandling me, they still continue to beat me, leaving my body with multiple lacerations.
After the attack, I went to the Kissy police to make an official complaint against the officers who attacked me but was instead accused of attacking the police and detained without being allowed to make a statement. Even when I asked that I be allowed to seek medical attention since I was badly bleeding on the head and suffering from severe pain all over my body, they refused. The Operations Officer, Daniel Mongoloh – who affirmed to me that he gave instructions to the officers ‘to use force to bring the suspect to the station at all cost’ – said I have no immunity as a journalist and that they were prepared to teach me a lesson. I was detained at the station for about seven hours; released only after the intervention of the Secretary General of the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ), Ismail Koroma, when it was already over 8:00pm. Only then that I was able to seek medical attention from a community nurse.
I consider this as an unwarranted attack on my person and a blatant abuse on my human rights. As the Sierra Leone Police preaches ‘Community Policing’ and establishing ‘Police Partnership Boards’ to involve communities in fighting crime and other societal ills, such an unfortunate situation could have been avoided had the officers accepted the offer by the family of safely delivering the suspect to them at the station.
I would be grateful if this complaint is given due attention as I seek justice for the pains inflicted on me by the aforementioned police officers.
Moses A. Kargbo
Editor, Concord Times Newspaper
51 Krootown Road
Cell No: 033-421350/077-708839
Cc: Inspector-General of Police
The Human Rights Commission of Sierra Leone
The Guild of Newspaper Editors-Sierra Leone
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Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.