Freetown – The Secretariat of the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists has received with grave concern complaints from two of its members against Brigadier (Rtd) Julius Maada Bio, presidential aspirant of the opposition Sierra Leone People’s Party and people believed to be his supporters.
In his letter of complaint, Acting Editor of Awareness Times Newspaper, Abdul Karim Kabia said he received a telephone call from Mr Bio on 17 December threatening him for writing an article critical of him. He said he had also been receiving anonymous phone calls from unidentified numbers threatening that continuing “publishing articles against Maada Bio and his supporters…puts my life on the line.”
A reporter for Awareness Times newspaper, Bampia James Bundu has also written to complain that on 22 December 2010 he was attacked and beaten at the law courts building by one Foday Yansanneh believed to be a supporter of Mr Bio.
These complaints are coming exactly a week after four newspaper journalists were arrested in Freetown and two radio journalists in Bo were detained in police cell apparently on the orders of two government ministers.
“These are ominous signs for the Sierra Leonean media especially when presidential and legislative elections are coming up in 2012” says SLAJ President Umaru Fofana. He warns politicians to “conform to the norms of civilised standards and respect the role of the press in a democratic society”.
At an emergency General Meeting today, the association agreed to set up a committee led by Francis Sowa to speedily investigate the complaints for further action while the case of Mr Kabia has been reported to the police.
Ag National Secretary General
© Copyright by Awareness Times
Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.