A prominent critic of Sierra Leone’s government Hassan Dumbuya has been killed during a police raid, raising serious concerns about extrajudicial killings and accusations of targeting opposition figures.
BBC reports that it happened when officers were in the hideout of alleged suspects behind last week’s violent protests.
According to the police, Hassan Dumbuya – popularly known as Evangelist Samson and a member of the All People’s Congress – was killed when officers exchanged gunfire with a neighbourhood group in the capital Freetown.
Police also say they received intelligence that ex-civil war combatants were planning an attack, so they arrested four people and confiscated what they said was a light submachine gun.
President Julius Maada Bio has said that the protests were an attempt to overthrow his government and that the perpetrators will face justice.
Twenty-one civilians and five police officers were killed during the violent protests over the rising cost of basic goods. Rights groups have called for an independent investigation into the protests.
Others have paid tribute to Dumbuya, while disputing the police’s version of events.