Sierra Leone: Protect Malen Human Rights Defenders
On 21 January, 2019 in Sierra Leone, the indigenous Sahn Malen people practiced their traditional rite of passage called “Poro Society.” SOCFIN—a transnational palm oil corporation—alleged that it interfered with its operations, causing the regional Resident Minister to decry this traditional indigenous practice. The Malen people protested to defend their rights. Sierra Leone military then intervened to protect SOCFIN plantations, resulting in 15 arrests —including a member of parliament known for championing the human rights of the community —and 2 deaths.
We call on Sierra Leone to release those detained, investigate the killing of these human rights defenders, and protect the Malen people targeted for defending their human rights. ESCR-Net —280 NGOs, social movements and advocates across more than 75 countries—sent a collective letter to the President of Sierra Leone on March 4.
Read our collective letter and START WRITING your own by completing this form→