“Families of those killed want their bodies to bury them in peace” Opposition leader.
Opposition Members of Parliament on Thursday called for an end to police brutality in Sierra Leone. The MP’s both from the main opposition APC and NGC parties staged a silent protest in the house of parliament by wearing black T-shirts with the writing “Makeni Lives Matter” in white.
Speaking to the press after the protest, opposition leader in parliament Hon. Cherinor Marju Bah said their protest action is in solidarity with their colleagues from Bombali about the rights of their electorates who have been victims of police brutality and abuses. He said the relatives wants to bury their loved ones killed in peace in their own way.
“Our colleagues said the people want the bodies of their relatives killed to be handed to them for burial. That’s what they are asking for as traditional people and it’s their rights to do so”, he said.
National Grand Coalition NGC leader in parliament Dr. Kandeh Yumkalla said he has been condemning violence and police killings in Freetown, Tombo, lunsar and now Makeni.
“We have to take a critical look at the excessive use of force. I said it before and I’m saying it again. I have seen protests in Europe and I think our police needs to be trained in dispersing crowd”, he said.
Dr. Yumkella said, there are other ways to control crowd and thinks there has to be an independent investigation on the matter to question the police action during the incident.
Meanwhile, relatives of the six people allegedly killed in Makeni by security forces including a school teacher during the generator protest of July 18th are still calling for their bodies to be handed over to them for burial. Their postmortem results have also still not yet handed over to them.
Forty two of the Fifty-one youths arrested in Makeni during the incident are still in detention. Another group of seven youths were arrested three days ago for printing the “Makeni Lives Matter” T shirts in Makeni including a student taking his Senior school exams in a week’s time. They were taken to Freetown for questioning.