SLAJ urges police to conclude investigation
April 12, 2018 By Hassan Gbassay Koroma
The Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ) has in a press release issued yesterday, 11th April, urged the police to speed up and conclude investigation into two separate cases of physical assault on journalists during the presidential run-off election on 31st March.
Patrick Jaiah Kamara of Concord Times, Ibrahim Samura, Publisher of New Age Newspaper and Thomas Dixon, Editor of Salone Times Newspaper were physically assaulted on polling day around Lumley in Freetown by some thugs of the then ruling All People’s Congress.
The thugs acted on the orders of Sanusi Bruski Kargbo, Herbert George Williams, the convicted former Mayor of Freetown City Council, Deputy Minister of Trade Ibrahim Washingai Mansaray and Public Relations Officer in the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Food Security, Abubakarr Daramy.
According to SLAJ, the journalists’ only crime was using their camera to take footages of incidents happening around Mafa Field and the Lumley roundabout in the west of Freetown, while eyewitness accounts say the attacks happened in the full view of Police and Army officers.
The journalist association further stated that the affected journalists reported the two separate matters to the Lumley Police Station and the victims referred for medical attention.
They also called on the All People’s Congress Party secretariat to earnestly look into the complaint the journalists association lodged against their party members who were named in the allegations.
“We place high premium on the safety and security of our members. Impunity should not be allowed to continue. The police and the APC must take appropriate action against the culprits,” SLAJ President Kelvin Lewis said.
The released called on all journalists to continue to take their safety and security paramount as they go about coverage of the post-elections process.