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Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders Annual Report 2006 - Sierra Leone

Publisher International Federation for Human Rights
Publication Date 14 March 2007
Cite as International Federation for Human Rights, Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders Annual Report 2006 - Sierra Leone, 14 March 2007, available at: [accessed 26 May 2016]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Investigation into Mr. Harry Yansaneh's assassination81

On May 10, 2005, Mr. Harry Yansaneh, former editor of the independent newspaper For di people, as well as a member of the National League for Human Rights and of the Amnesty International section in Sierra Leone, was violently assaulted and beaten in his Freetown office. Several of his aggressors were relatives of Mrs. Fatmata Hassan, a member of Parliament affiliated to the ruling Sierra Leone People's Party (SLPP). Mr. Yansaneh died as the result of the beating on July 28, 2005.

Although the investigation commissioned by the Government concluded that Mr. Yansaneh's death was "unlawful and illegal" and should as such be qualified as "involuntary manslaughter", Attorney General Frederick Carew decided to drop these charges on January 17, 2006. Mr. Carew confirmed this decision on February 7, 2006, arguing that Mr. Yansaneh's death resulted from a chronicle kidney insufficiency.

On August 8, 2006 however, the director of public prosecutions acknowledged before the Freetown High Court that there was sufficient evidence to prove that Mr. Yansaneh "died as a result of grievous bodily harm" inflicted "with intent to wound". This admission makes it legally possible to extradite Mrs. Fatmata Hassan Komeh's children, Ahmed Komeh, Bai Bureh Komeh and Aminata Komeh, all three suspected of being involved in Mr. Yansaneh's beating.

The Attorney General requested their extradition on August 15, 2006.

The proceedings remained pending as of the end of 2006.

[Refworld note: This report as posted on the FIDH website ( was in pdf format with country chapters run together by region. Footnote numbers have been retained here, so do not necessarily begin at 1.]

81. See Annual Report 2005.

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