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Court detains journalist for four hours

(MFWA/IFEX) - On 18 August 2010, Arthwah Maddie, a court reporter with the privately-owned "FOR DI PEOPLE" newspaper, was detained at the State Pademba Road Prison for about four hours on the orders of Bankole Shyllon, a magistrate of a Freetown court for erroneously reducing the age of a young man of 18 years jailed for committing incest.

The Media Foundation for West Africa's (MFWA) correspondent in Sierra Leone reported that Maddie was released late in the evening upon the intervention of some lawyers for his release.

The correspondent said that the magistrate had invited Maddie to his chambers over the story. "When I entered his chambers, he asked me if I was the author of that story and I replied yes. He then ordered my detention", the reporter told the correspondent.

According to the reporter, the mistake was a typographical error by the newspaper's typist.

The correspondent said Maddie has become traumatised by the event which could affect his reporting at the court.

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