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
Newspapers’s 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