SLAJ/SLPP investigation panel

10 November 2010 at 02:58 | 1150 views

Sierra Leone Association of Journalists

1st Floor, 56 Campbell Street, Freetown, Sierra Leone P.M.B. 724,

Website:; Email:

President: +232 76/77/33 609285, Ag Secretary-General +232 76 460423/033 533547

Date: 8 November 2010

Press Release

SLAJ/SLPP Investigation Panel Begins Sitting Monday 22 November

Freetown – The Secretariat of the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists wishes to announce that a panel has been constituted to investigate the beating-up and manhandling of ten journalists in February this year.

The journalists were allegedly beaten up and manhandled by overzealous plain clothes security operatives and members or supporters of the opposition Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) during the party’s conference in Bo, southern Sierra Leone.

The SLPP has accepted SLAJ’s choice of Chairman for the Investigation Panel, Lawyer Ardy Macauley. The SLPP had earlier requested for time to do some background check.

As per the Terms of Reference signed by SLAJ and the SLPP, each party is to nominate two members to sit on the panel. The Acting Secretary General of SLAJ Mr. Ismael Koroma and Mr Elias Bangura of For Di People newspaper will represent SLAJ on the Panel. SLPP’s Director of Communication Mr. Sulaiman Banja Tejan-Sie and Mr. Alieu Kanu will represent the SLPP party.

“Even though the SLPP had apologised at the time for the behaviour of their members and supporters, there is need to investigate the incident and bring the culprits to book in order to ward off impunity in attacks against journalists”, SLAJ President Umaru Fofana says. He urges all the affected journalists to come forward and cooperate with the investigations so it would take the shortest possible time.

In an official complaint to SLAJ, some of the journalists claimed that their recording and communications equipment, among them digital cameras and mobile phones, was seized or stolen from them.

The victim journalists were David Jabati (Editor of Exclusive Newspaper); Sulaiman Storm Koroma of Radio Democracy, Idrissa Sesay, Alimamy Lahai Kamara and Aruna P. Kamara all of the Sierra Leone Broadcasting Corporation, Mohamed Kabbah and Bampia Bundu of Awareness Times Newspaper, Abdul Kamara of Star Radio, James Fillie of Eastern Radio and Ishmael Bayoh formerly of Awoko Newspaper.

Ismael Koroma

Ag National Secretary-General

+23276 460423

+23233 533547