Trial began on 5 June 2004 before the Special Court for Sierra Leone; found guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity and sentenced to 52 years imprisonment; sentence upheld by the Appeals Chamber on 26 October 2009
Issa Hassan Sesay, also known as Issa Sesay, was born on 27 June 1970 in Freetown, Sierra Leone.
According to the bill of indictment, at the time of the alleged events, Sesay was a “senior officer” and Commander in the RUF (Revolutionary United Front) in the Junta as well as in the RFU/AFRC (Armed Forces Revolutionary Council).
Between 1993 and 1997, he is reported to have held the position of Regional Commander of the RUF, then that of Battlefield Commander between 1997 and 1999. He was said to be subordinate only to Sam Bockarie, the Battlefield Commander, and Foday Sankoh and Paul Koroma, respectively the leaders of the RUF and the AFRC.
During the Junta regime, he was a member of the Junta governing body.
According to the indictment, from early 2000 until August in the same year, he served as Battlefield Commander of the RUF.
From May 2000 until about 10 March 2003, Sesay is said to have directed all RUF activities in Sierra Leone by order of Foday Sankoh who was incarcerated at the time.
It is reported that Issa Hassan Sesay, personally or in concert with other leaders of the RUF and the AFRC, exercised control, authority and command over subordinates in the RUF, the Junta and the armed forces of the RUF/AFRC.
During the period covered by the indictment, the RUF and the AFRC, acting in concert with, or under the orders of Sesay, led a campaign of armed attacks throughout the territory of Sierra Leone, according to the bill of indictment. The principal targets of these attacks were civilians and humanitarian assistance personnel as well as United Nations peacekeepers. These attacks were carried out primarily to terrorize the civilian population, but were also used to punish the population for failing to provide sufficient support to the RUF/AFRC alliance.
The attacks included unlawful killings, physical and sexual violence against civilians and looting of property.
As part of the campaign of terror, the alliance is reported to have routinely captured and abducted women and girls to rape and use as sex slaves, to have carried off men and boys to use as forced labour and to have abducted children to enrol them by force in the conflict.
Trial Watch would like to remind its users that any person charged by national or international authorities is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
Crimes against humanity
Deprivation of life
Infringment of physical integrity
Forbidden methods or means or warfare
Protection of civilian objects
Protection of civilians
Protection of humanitarian personnel and objects 01.04.2010