Sierra Leone UPDATE: News blackout on police lifted

Thursday, October 2, 2008

The Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ) on September 24, 2008 lifted the news blackout it imposed on the activities of the country’s police over attacks on some of its members by police personnel.
The Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA)’s correspondent reported that the lifting of the ban followed the intervention of  Sam Sumana, the country’s Vice President, and Ibrahim Ben Kargbo, the Communication’s Minister.

The correspondent said Sumana who is the Chairman of the Police Council, assumed responsibility for the attack and promised to refund the monies and equipment the journalists lost.

After some feet dragging, SLAJ imposed the blackout on September 22, six weeks after the police authorities had refused to implement a recommendation by a committee to compensate the affected journalists.  Eight journalists were violently attacked by policemen at the State House in Freetown on August 13, while on assignment.

The Media Foundation for West Africa