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COMMENTS & OPINIONS  

Sylvia Blyden Speaks on Press Freedom in Sierra Leone
By Awareness Times
Apr 24, 2015, 17:06
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Following is part of Dr. Sylvia Blyden's comments yesterday morning of 23rd April 2015 to the Africa Policy Breakfast hosted by members of United States Congress. She extensively responded to a bunch of untrue allegations stated to the meeting by a political ally of Alhaji Sam-Sumana named Aiah Fanday. Dr. Blyden was in the audience with Hon. Minister Mabinty Daramy at Thomas Jefferson Building, Library of Congress.

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"Now, about the matter of press freedom in Sierra Leone, as a journalist myself, I could spend the whole day here at Library of Congress to give examples and enlighten on that aspect but let me just give one example. This same former Vice President got a bunch of highly unprofessional journalists to file reports to the international media that our President had sent trucks of heavily armed soldiers to storm his residence and threaten life of him and his family. This was later proven as totally untrue to the extent the former Vice President himself disowned his own sympathetic media men as having lied on him. Now, I cannot imagine a false allegation worse than a journalist internationally accusing a sitting President of sending armed men to terrorise his Vice-President and wife and children of his Vice-President. But such a false report was filed all around the world without any effort to cross check. That happened six weeks ago but as I stand here today in these halls, nobody has harassed those journalists who filed those false reports. They were not even chided by the Government. If that is not press freedom, then you will have to tell me what Press Freedom is! Thank you."


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