The Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ) and the Independent Radio Network (IRN) have completed a five-day tour of Pujehun in the south, and Kambia in the north to arrest the recent disturbing trend of attacks and threats against journalists.
At Rokupr in Kambia District on Sunday 25 January the delegation met with the executive of the governing All People’s Congress party which included Minister of Trade, Alimamy P Koroma and four Members of Parliament from the district among them Hon Ibrahim Sorie who is the party’s district chairman. The meeting continued in Kambia town on the following day where an amicable settlement of the matter was reached.
The APC party executive condemned the action of their Youth Leader, Soriebah Yillah, who had written a letter and made phone calls threatening a journalist with beating and expulsion from the Kollenten community radio station because of his critical reports about the district council. They assured that Mr Yillah would write a letter withdrawing his threat against the journalist. However, the party officials expressed concern at some aspects of the operations of the radio and called for more training for its staff which SLAJ and IRN agreed to do in due course.
Both parties then set up a Monitoring Committee to follow up on the agreement.
SLAJ president, Umaru Fofana had earlier warned the party’s executive and members against taking the law into their own hands.
“It is not the business of politicians or anybody for that matter to threaten or attack a journalist if they feel aggrieved by what was said or published about them”. He said such matters should be taken to SLAJ, the Independent Media Commission or to court if the aggrieved party so desired.