The IFJ Calls on Sierra Leone to Investigate Attacks on Two Journalists

The International Federation of Journalists today has called on the authorities

of Sierra Leone to investigate and bring to book the attacks against two print

journalists by serving members of the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces.


« We have vigorously condemned these attacks against the two

journalists, and we welcome the investigation announced by the Minister for

Defense to punish those who caused the attacks, » said Gabriel Baglo, IFJ

Africa Office Director.  


According to Sierra-Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ), an IFJ

affiliate, Poindexter Sama and Alie Turay, two journalists with Awoko a daily independent

newspaper were attacked and injured on August 2, by the soldiers who the

journalists had photographed whilst they were passing in front of the

Newspaperss office in Freetown. They confiscated mobile phones,

two memory sticks and a camera battery from the two journalists.


The soldiers were mobilized to quell a demonstration staged by the

former soldiers who were protesting against non-payment of their benefits. The

chronically ill or wounded in action, as the former soldiers are known had

earlier in the day attacked and beaten up the Minister of Defense   Paollo Conteh within the vicinity of the



The journalists wanted from their premises to take pictures of the group

of former soldiers heading towards the Ministry for Defense. Soldiers went

directly to journalists, attacking them. 


« The security forces should understand that safety of journalists in

the course of their work must be protected, and we call on authorities to fight

impunity, » Baglo added.


For more information

contact the IFJ on +221 33 867 95 86/87

The IFJ represents more

than 600.000 journalists in 134 countries