From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

Local News
In Sierra Leone, Government Bans Musical Activities ..78 Rioters Dragged to Court
By Augustine Samba
Dec 14, 2010, 17:28

The Government of Sierra Leone, through the Ministry of Internal Affairs, has placed a ban on all musical activities including assembly, rallies and album launchings.

This ban came in the wake of riotous conducts of youths supporting various musicians in the country.

The Government of Sierra Leone expressed grave concerns over the skirmishes that took place in Freetown on Saturday 11th and Sunday 12th December 2010 and made clear that it was not going to condone acts of violence.

Meanwhile, a total of seventy-eight (78) rioters were dragged to court on Monday 13th December, 2010 over the Saturday and Sunday incidents.

Presiding Magistrate of the Freetown Magistrate Court No.2, Magistrate Wellington, refused the accused persons bail and ordered that they be remanded at the Pademba Road Prisons.

The accused persons were arraigned on ten-count charges ranging from riotous conduct to possession of offensive weapons.

Ten of them pleaded guilty and their matter was adjourned to Tuesday for sentencing.

The matter of the others who pleaded not guilty was adjourned to Wednesday 15th December 2010.

Prior to adjourning the matter, the Magistrate advised the prisons officers and police personnel to respect the human rights of the accused persons, who were being manhandled right in front of the Magistrate.

The accused persons were arrested by police on Saturday 11th and Sunday 12th December 2010 during deadly riots in the capital city of Freetown.

The rioters used the rallies of local musicians as opportunities to throw stones and other dangerous missiles, snatch mobile phones and valuable properties from peaceful residents.

Head of Media in the Sierra Leone Police told the Awareness Times that the police succeeded in arresting the aforementioned rioters following the launch of a rapid response operation using the anti riot team of the police to coil down the deadly riots of Saturday and Sunday.

Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Ibrahim Samura used the forum as an opportunity to call on members of the public to help the police to weed out these misguided youths from society.

He assured Sierra Leoneans that the police is on top of national security situation and there is no cause for panic.

© Copyright 2005, Freetown, Sierra Leone.