EXTERNAL (for general distribution) AI Index: AFR 51/03/93
UA 85/93 Fear of Torture/Extrajudicial Execution 25 March 1993
SIERRA LEONE - Ernest Allen, Permanent Secretary at the Department of
- Fatmata Binta Jalloh (female), businesswoman
- Foday Kallon, employee at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
- Rosaline Kamara (female), an official at the Sierra Leone
Embassy in Russia
- Ernest Bai Koroma, Managing Director of Reliance Insurance
and Transport Corporation of Sierra Leone
- Bockarie Samura
and at least one other
The six people named above and at least one other person were arrested on about
18 March 1993 on suspicion of involvement in a plot to overthrow the government.
They have not been charged with any offence and are detained incommunicado.
Amnesty International is concerned that they may be subjected to torture or
ill-treatment, or may be executed without any trial or after a parody of a
trial before a special military court.
The seven people are apparently suspected of involvement in a plot to overthrow
the government of Captain Valentine Strasser which seized power in a military
coup in April 1992. On 11 March 1993 the government said it had uncovered
a conspiracy to purchase arms and missiles from Ukraine and accused former
President J. S. Momoh, currently in exile in neighbouring Guinea, of plotting
to return to power by force. The detainees are being held incommunicado at
the police headquarters in Freetown, the capital, and have been denied access
to families and lawyers.
The detainees are held without charge or trial. Following the coup in April
1992, emergency legislation was introduced which gave the security forces
unlimited powers of administrative detention without charge or trial and
specifically prevented challenges against such detention in the courts. Over
150 people, including more than 40 former government ministers and officials,
have been detained since April 1992 and are held without charge or trial at
Pademba Road Prison in Freetown.
On 29 December 1992, 26 people were executed after grossly unfair summary trials
before a special military tribunal or possibly after no trials at all - some
after being severely tortured. Three others were executed extrajudicially.
They were alleged to have been involved in two separate conspiracies against
the government in November and December 1992. Despite subsequent evidence
that no coup attempts in fact took place, several detainees remain in
incommunicado detention without charge or trial, accused of involvement in
these alleged conspiracies (see UA 416/92, AFR 51/05/92, 31 December 1992 and
follow-ups AFR 51/01/93, 11 January 1993 and AFR 51/02/93, 29 January 1993).