NOVEMBER 5, 2014 By Mohamed Massaquoi
Lawyer representing detained journalist Dr. David Tam-Baryoh is expected to address both local and international media today in Freetown with regard the arrest of the presenter of the popular radio program, Monologue.
Journalist Tam-Baryoh was arrested and whisked to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) on Monday evening by some six police personnel acting on Executive Orders. His arrest and detention has sparked debates among journalists and even members of the Sierra Leonean public as to why the police were yet to state reasons for his arrest.
Lawyer Melron Nicol-Wilson said he was up and about since the arrest of the journalist trying to actually understand the rationale behind the incident.
“I only got access to Mr. Tam-Baryoh at the CID headquarters immediately he was arrested. In fact we only spoke for two minutes. I noticed that he was dizzy and we could not speak further,” said lawyer Nicol-Wilson. “On Tuesday morning, I came to the CID again but I was told that my client has been taken to the Male Correctional Centre on Pademba Road. I went to the court and other places to find out more as to the reason he was arrested but I was later told that he has been taken to the Correctional Centre without going to the court. I must hasten to say that we are under public emergency but I am sure by tomorrow, I will be able to expand more on the issue to the media.”
He added that he will be more prepared to talk to the media and the Sierra Leonean community after visiting the Pademba Road detention facility today.
President of the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ), Kelvin Lewis, reported on social media yesterday that Dr. Tam-Baryoh had told him in a snap interview that he was having some chest pains.
“I was there when Dr. [James] Russell inspected him and found his pressure was high and in a state of hypertensive emergency. Dr Russell advised the CID boss to get a second opinion to avoid bias but also that David should be admitted to avoid medical crisis,” he said.
Only recently, the government of Sierra Leone, through the Independent Media Commission (IMC), slammed a two-month ban on the Monologue program for broadcasting a story which the government considered to be inciting, but the journalist had vehemently denied any wrong doing.