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Terrible News From Freetown : For Di People Deputy Editor is Dead!

29 July 2005 at 02:41 | 928 views

Harry Yanssaneh, the Deputy Editor of the Freetown newspaper For Di People is dead.His health dramatically deteriorated during the last few days after he was severely beaten by thugs allegedly on the orders of SLPP parliamentarian Fatmata Hassan. Below is a letter announcing his death by Isatu Kamara, wife of the jailed For Di People editor Paul Kamara. The letter was addressed to The Patriotic Vanguard’s Special Correspondent in Europe, Issa Mansaray:

From: Paul Kamara
To: Issa Mansaray
Sent: Thursday, July 28, 2005 6:05 PM

Dear Issa

I am sorry i have not been able to keep in touch recently.

Mr Kamara appeared in court on Monday 25th July 2005 for the ruling on the bail application. The judges denied him bail on the grounds that they see no special circumstances to grant him bail. He was taken back to prison.

Our Deputy Editor, Harry Hassan Yansaneh, who was beaten on the instructions of the SLPP Member of Parliament, Hon DR Fatmata Hassan passed away on Wednesday 27th July at 11 pm.

I will give more details later.

Mrs Isatu Kamara

Here the circumstances leading to Yanssaneh’s death:

For Di People, one of the oldest independent newspapers in Sierra Leone, has received many blows in varying forms from the ruling SLPP government headed by Ahmad Tejan Kabbah. First its editor, Paul Kamara was arrested and jailed for writing a critical article about the president.Next, a group of thugs led by Fatmata Hassan, a female SLPP parliamentarian visited the newspaper’s offices and severely beat up the staff including the acting editor Harry Yanssaneh before throwing them out. Hassan is the owner of the building that housed For Di People and other newspapers.
(MFWA/IFEX) - The health of Harry Yanssaneh, editor of the privately-owned newspaper "For Di People", continues to deteriorate since he was assaulted on 10 May 2005 by thugs allegedly acting on the orders of Fatmata Hassan, a member of parliament of the ruling Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP).

On 10 May, Yanssaneh was beaten brutally at his "For Di People" offices by six persons in the presence of Hassan. The editor was later abandoned with a swollen face and bruised body.

Yanssaneh, who is also a university student, is very ill and has been compelled to abandon lectures and his second semester exams, which began on 19 July.

According to MFWA-Sierra Leone, a recent medical report issued by a specialist at Freetown’s CUPID Health Centre indicated that Yanssaneh was suffering from kidney trouble. This has been linked to the beatings he received.

Yanssaneh and witnesses to the assault reported the matter to police, but no arrests have been made to date.

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