Document - Further information on UA 416/92 (AFR 51/05/92, 31 December and follow-up AFR 51/01/93, 11 January) - Sierra Leone: death penalty / legal concern / fear of further executions: 26 people executed including: James Bambay Kamara, Lieutenant-Colonel James Yay









EXTERNAL (for general distribution)AI Index: AFR 51/02/93

Distr: UA/SC


29 January 1993


Further information on UA 416/92 (AFR 51/05/92, 31 December 1992 and follow-up AFR 51/01 93, 11 January 1993) - Death Penalty/Legal Concern/Fear of further executions


SIERRA LEONE:


26 people executed including:

James Bambay Kamara, former Minister of State and Inspector General Police

Lieutenant-Colonel James Yaya Kanu


At least eight detainees feared to be at risk of unfair trial and summary execution, including:

Lieutenant M.A. Jalloh

Lance Corporal S.S. Koroma, alias Solo Donde

Ahmed Sesay, student

and new names:Alhaji Chernor Ajibu Jalloh, 68, imam (Islamic prayer leader)

J.B. Amara, Director of Prisons

and three prison officials


Two people declared "wanted" in connection with an alleged coup attempt:

Private Mohamed Osman Bangura

Lance Corporal Saidu Kargbo



At least eight people are still detained incommunicado on suspicion of involvement in an alleged coup attempt on 28 December 1992. Twenty-five men and one woman, accused of involvement in two separate coup attempts on 21 November and 28 December 1992, were executed in Freetown on or before 29 December 1992 following hurried, secret and grossly unfair trials before a Special Military Tribunal in which they were denied all rights of defence, or after no trials at all. Amnesty International remains concerned that those still detained may also be at risk of summary execution.


In addition, evidence is now emerging that three people allegedly killed in "cross-fire" when the coup attempt was thwarted may have been executed deliberately and extrajudicially. Unofficial sources have alleged that there were no coup attempts, and that innocent people were implicated in a "plot" and executed in order for the government to justify the killing of key people regarded as political threats - in particular Lieutenant-Colonel James Yaya Kanu, a popular army commander.


The eight still detained include Lieutenant M.A. Jalloh, Lance Corporal S.S. Koroma, Ahmed Sesay and Alhaji Chernor Ajibu Jalloh, all arrested following an alleged coup attempt on 28 December 1992. There are fears that Alhaji Chernor Ajibu Jalloh has been tortured in detention. Also detained are J.B. Amara, Director of Prisons, and three other prison officials, who appear to have been detained because two prisoners were alleged to have been involved in the conspiracy. The two prisoners were James Bambay Kamara, former Minister of State and Inspector General of Police, and Lieutenant-Colonel James Yaya Kanu who were both detained without trial at Pademba Road Prison when they were alleged to have been involved in plotting to overthrow the government. According to unofficial sources, they were tortured and killed before the alleged coup attempt of 28 December 1992.


A Sierra Leonean government communiqué of 31 December 1992 stated that two people - Lieutenant Jalloh and Lance Corporal Koroma - were awaiting trial by the Special Military Tribunal in connection with the alleged coup attempt of 28 December 1992. Amnesty International is concerned that they and the other detainees may be tried, without legal representation, by a special military tribunal and, if found guilty, sentenced to death with no right of appeal against their convictions and sentences.


Page 2 of 2FU 416/92

Amnesty International also remains concerned that two members of the armed forces, Private Mohamed Osman Bangura and Lance Corporal Saidu Kargbo, declared "wanted" in connection with the alleged coup attempt of 28 December 1992, may also be at risk of unfair trial and summary execution.


FURTHER RECOMMENDED ACTION: Please send telegrams/telexes/express and airmail letters

- continuing to express grave concern at the execution of 26 people on 29 December 1992 following hurried, secret and grossly unfair trials;

- expressing concern that three people, allegedly killed in "cross-fire" when the coup attempt was thwarted, may have been extrajudicially executed;

- expressing concern that at least eight other people, including Alhaji Chernor Ajibu Jalloh, a 68-year-old imam, reportedly arrested following an alleged coup attempt on 28 December 1992, and others declared "wanted" by the authorities in connection with the alleged coup attempts, may also be at risk of summary execution following unfair trials before the Special Military Tribunal;

- appealing for remaining or future detainees arrested in connection with the alleged coup attempts of November and December 1992 not to be unfairly tried or executed, and urging the government to release any such detainees promptly if they are not to be charged in connection with criminal acts and brought to trial before an open court in which they are accorded full rights of defence and appeal in conformity with international standards;

- calling for the remaining detainees to be given full and immediate access to their lawyers and families, to be held in humane conditions and safeguarded against any ill-treatment, and to be provided with appropriate medical care.


APPEALS TO:

1) Captain Valentine E.M. Strasser

ChairmanSalutation: Dear Captain Strasser

Supreme Council of State

National Provisional Ruling Council

State House

Independence Avenue

Freetown, Sierra Leone

Telegrams: Captain Strasser, Chairman NPRC, Freetown, Sierra Leone

Telexes: 3230


2) Lieutenant Solomon A.J. Musa

Deputy ChairmanSalutation: Dear Lieutenant Musa

National Provisional Ruling Council

State House

Independence Avenue

Freetown, Sierra Leone

Telegrams: Lieutenant Musa, Vice-Chairman NPRC, Freetown, Sierra Leone

Telexes: 3230


COPIES OF YOUR APPEALS TO:


Dr Mohamed Lamin Kamara

Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs

Department of Foreign Affairs

14 Gloucester Street

Freetown, Sierra Leone


Newspapers:

Daily Mail, PO Box 53, Freetown, Sierra Leone

The Chronicle, 42B Waterloo Street, Freetown, Sierra Leone

For Di People, 1 Short Street, Freetown, Sierra Leone

The Globe, 14a Lightfoot Boston Street, Freetown, Sierra Leone

The New Citizen, 5 Hannah Benka-Coker Street, Freetown, Sierra Leone

The Vision, 60 Old Railway Line, Brookfields, Freetown, Sierra Leone


and to diplomatic representatives of Sierra Leone accredited to your country.


PLEASE SEND APPEALS IMMEDIATELY. Check with the International Secretariat, or your section office, if sending appeals after 12 March 1993.

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