Sierra Leonian President Julius Maada Bio of Sierra Leone has promised the media sector that his government is looking to repeal criminal libel and sedition laws and also create a fund to support journalists.
With elections less than 2 weeks away, the political landscape in Sierra Leone has evolved dramatically from peaceful to a verbally abusive and brutish environment. In this furore, the media seems focused solely on party campaigns.
Police officers in Sierra Leone have killed one student, injured several others and arrested dozens in an attempt to quell protests by students of the University of Njala, located in the city of Bo in South-Eastern part of the country.
On 31 January 2017, anti-corruption activist Abdul Fatoma was arrested without a warrant, shortly after speaking on the radio about a national corruption scandal. Police confiscated Fatoma’s passport the following day.
Four years after Sierra Leone Journalist Ibrahim Foday’s death, members of IFEX join the Media Foundation for West Africa in calling for more rapid progress.
Tamba Fanday, the station manager for privately-owned Citizen Radio in Koidu Town, Kono District, in eastern Sierra Leone, is currently in hiding for fear of being arrested and detained under a presidential executive order.
Media crackdowns in Liberia and Sierra Leone may be cutting off access to potentially life-saving information about Ebola.
Within the last six months, at least five senior journalists have been arrested and detained by Sierra Leone’s police at the instance of government officials.
After publishing a column describing President Ernest Bai Koroma’s behaviour to that of a rat, two editors of the Independent Observer were accused of libel and sedition. They face a 29 November court date and could face prison sentences of six months to three years if convicted.
Jonathan Leigh and Bai Bai Sesay were granted bail on 4 November 2013 by a Freetown-based High Court. The editors still face charges for publishing an article deemed defamatory to Sierra Leonean President Ernest Bai Koroma.
The Right to Access Information Act establishes a right to access government information and requires the government to disseminate a plan for making records publicly available.
Jonathan Leigh and Bai Bai Sesay could face up to three years in prison for publishing of an article that criticised President Ernest Bai Koroma.
Jonathan Leigh and Bai Bai Sesay were detained on 18 October 2013. They have been accused of publishing an article that is “defamatory” to President Ernest Bai Koroma.
On 12 July 2013, Mohamed Ambrose Koroma was sentenced to three months in prison and ordered to pay 2,500 Leones (about US $600) in compensation for assaulting Paul Lamin, a reporter for the privately-owned Awareness Times newspaper.