22 January 1999
WAJA statement on recent developments in Sierra Leone
**Updates IFEX alerts of 21 January, 20 January, 12 January and 11 January
(WAJA/IFEX) - The following is a WAJA press release:
We have been following recent events in Sierra Leone and are outraged and
shocked by the senseless and indiscriminate attacks and persecution of both
foreign and local journalists in Sierra Leone. We are particularly concerned
about the horrendous casualties suffered by our colleagues in Sierra Leone
during the battle for control of Freetown, the national capital, between the
Revolutionary United Front (RUF) rebels, Armed Forces Ruling Council (ARFC)
fighters and ECOMOG.
We condemn in no uncertain terms the abduction of journalists by the rebels,
the killing of journalists and the destruction of media houses and
equipment.WAJA has had occasion in the past to condemn the anti-media
measures of the Tejan Kabbah regime, particularly the death sentence passed
against some journalists.
Whilst urging all parties in the crisis in Sierra Leone to lay down arms and
bring peace to the long-suffering people of Sierra Leone, we equally appeal
to them to respect the dignity and right of journalists, irrespective of
their perceived political leanings, to do their work.