Salone News

Sierra Leone’s Criminal Libel Law and some of its victims

25 July 2020 at 22:00 | 1033 views

By Our Freetown Correspondent

It was a hot debate and discussion this morning nationwide, as Part Five of the Criminal Libel Law has been finally laid to rest or repealed.

Political pundits, civil society organizations and the judiciary are also discussing this issue with mixed feelings and reactions. According to some political commentators, the IMC, which is the regulatory body for all media practitioners should now put all hands on deck to monitor media houses on the guiding principles or code of ethics of the journalism profession.

Past presidents and regimes had given deaf ears to calls for the removal of the Criminal Libel Laws but with such a hold step by the New Direction government, we should all stand tall as journalists to commend them.

Prolific writers, like the erudite IB Kargbo, Gibril Koroma, the Canada-based linguist, publisher and fearless pen pusher, Dr.Julius Spencer the playwright and dramatist, Bundu Hayes, the radical orator and publisher now in the USA, Ibrahim Seaga Shaw, Edison Yongai, now in Australia, Paul Kamara, the prison Makanaky, the late Kawigoko Roy Stevens, the late Lansana Fofana (Lans Fofie) of the BBC, the late Franklin Bunting-Davies, the late Siaka Massaquoi, the late Olu Gordon, the late Mohamed D Koroma, the Ariogbo, and also the late Chernor Ojuku Sesay, late Conrad Roy, Abu Bakarr Shaw (in London,UK), Abayomi Charles Roberts(Canada), George Khoryama, now Chairman of the IMC, Ojukutu Macauley Jr., Bai Bai Sesay, Jonathan Leigh in Germany and many others too numerous to name.

These are some of the pacesetters who suffered greatly at the hands of past governments using the Criminal Libel and Sedition laws.

I say BRAVO, to the New Direction for this wonderful and historical achievement thanks to President Bio and his Information Minister Mohamed Rado Swaray (pictured). They have made history; they have entered, in a very glorious way, Sierra Leone’s national history. Forever.