Sierra Leone. According to countryaah, the UN-backed Special Court for Sierra Leone began planning its settlement after the final three cases were closed. The three highest surviving leaders of the former rebel movement Revolutionary United Front (RUF) were found guilty of a host of war crimes and crimes against humanity and were sentenced to 52, 40 and 25 years in prison, respectively. All three appealed, but the higher court upheld the sentence. Thus, only one case remains before the court, the trial of Liberian former President Charles Taylor, but it is being conducted for security reasons in The Hague in the Netherlands. Remaining in Sierra Leone now becomes a smaller staff force to handle the Taylor trial and the transfer of sentenced to prisons abroad.
The State Commission Against Corruption announced that during the first half of the year it had succeeded in recovering the equivalent of approximately SEK 2 billion that had been withheld through corruption. The money was withdrawn from companies and senior government officials. In November, two ministers were dismissed and charged with corruption.
On Independence Day, April 27, 2016, 29 were arrested and detained for more than a week each week for participating in a march organized by the opposition party Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP). Police stated that the party had not been authorized to conduct the march, and then used tear gas to get it dissolved. Several people were injured, including the woman leader Lulu Sheriff. In August, 6 of the 29 were sentenced to 6 months in prison and 1 was sentenced to 9 months in prison. The judgments were appealed. At the end of the year, a similar case from April 2015 was ongoing, in which 15 SLPP members and one member of the Human Rights Commission were indicted.
In August, two people were shot and killed by Kabala police during protests against the demolition of a planned youth training center. The town was then put into emergency mode after several buildings were burned down. Seventeen participants were charged in court for arson and rioting. The newly created Independent Police Complaints Unit conducted an investigation into the process, following information that police had used excessive force. The unit’s investigation and recommendations to the state prosecutor and police chief were kept secret.
In 2016, the country was subjected to the UN Human Rights Council’s regular review (UPR). The 208 report was published in April. Sierra Leone stated that it would comply with 177 of them, but it would not prohibit genital mutilation, allow pregnant girls to go to school, or guarantee LGBTI people’s human rights. In September, the country was examined by the Committee on the Rights of the Child, which made various recommendations regarding sexual exploitation and circumcision.