From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

SLPP Complains to Independent Media Commission
By I. Bah
May 9, 2009, 15:35

Dear all, Please find attached a letter of complaint against Standard Times addressed to the IMC. The IMC has acknowledged receipt of the complaint and has invited the two parties to a hearing on Monday May 11 at 2:30 pm. The SLPP is considering some other line of action within the law, collectively as a party and on individual basis for defamation. The party will keep you abreast of developments in this regard.
I thank you.
Ibrahim El-Tayyib Bah (Natl Publicity Secretary SLPP)



May 8, 2009

The Executive Secretary
Independent Media Commission
54 Siaka Stevens Street
Dear Mr. Lamin,

Complaints against Editor, Standard Times Newspaper 

I write to complain the editor of the Standard Times Newspaper in respect of the lead articles ¬†¬†¬†in its May 7 and May 8, 2009 editions captioned ďPreparation on the WayÖSLPP Task¬†¬†¬†Force demands Diamba, Motorbikes, Cutlasses and Daggers for the electionĒ¬† and ď SLPP ¬†¬†¬†SLPP secret meetings attract pledgesĒ respectively. Photocopies of the said articles are attached herew¬†herewith.

In its May 7, 2009 edition, among other things, although the Party through its National Chairman in an interview with Mr. Philip Neville of Standard Times, categorically denied receipt of any such letter and knowledge of any such meeting or anonymous letter signed by an unknown Commander, the newspaper insisted that it was in possession of documentary evidence linking the Party to an alleged request for drugs and weapons for use by a Task Force in preparation for 2012 elections. In its May 8, 2009 edition, the newspaper claims to have in its custody of a tape recording of a meeting held in Kenema.

The newspaper chose to refer to such response from the Chairman as funny and careless. Furthermore, professional ethics demand that newspapers should not only cross check their facts but should investigate the authenticity of documents especially from anonymous sources, that  are likely to cause public alarm and character assassination.

The SLPP considers the said publications as a slur on the image of the Party and attempts to undermine our non-violence reputation. In this regard, the Party calls on the IMC to speedily investigate the allegations and take the necessary punitive measures.    
Best Regards
Yours sincerely,

Ibrahim El-Tayib Bah
National Publicity Secretary

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