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Last Updated: Sep 27th, 2012 - 19:19:07 
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Published online by
Sylvia Blyden Dot Com

17 Garrison Street,
Freetown,
Sierra Leone.
Tel: +232-77-772001
Tel: +232-88-321000
Tel: +232-76-350077
Tel: +232-30-321001
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EDITORIALS  

Sierra Leone Libel Laws & Press Freedom
By Sylvia Blyden
Sep 27, 2012, 17:10
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Protection of freedom of expression and the press is enshrined in the 1991 Constitution of Sierra Leone under Section 25.(1) which says:

Except with his own consent, no person shall be hindered in the enjoyment of his freedom of expression, and for the purpose of this section, the said freedom includes the freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart ideas and information without interference, freedom from interference with his correspondence, freedom to own, establish and operate any medium for the dissemination of information, ideas and opinions, and academic freedom in institutions of learning.

In Section 25.(2), there is a caveat that in the interests of defence, public safety, public order, public morality or public health or for the purpose of protecting the reputations, rights and freedoms of other persons, restrictions may be imposed on such freedom of expression.

Clearly, DEATH THREATS for journalists should have activated the IMC to leap into action against the SLPP newspaper which threatened Sylvia Blyden off her right to her life and bodily well-being & her public safety but the IMC looked the other way.

Instead, the publication for which Awareness Times has been purportedly suspended, did NOT fall into any of the caveats above. Rather, that impugned publication of Awareness Times is actually FULLY PROTECTED by the Criminal Libel Laws caveats which allow adequate responses to provocations under its Section 30.(J) which states:

No person shall be criminally liable for the publication of a defamatory matter where the publication is made in order to answer or refute some other defamatory matter published by the person defamed, concerning the person making the publication.

I hope those who can read and understand at the IMC, read and understand what this piece is trying to educate them on.

© Copyright by Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.

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