September 19, 2019
By Alhaji Haruna Sani
President of the Sierra Leone Bar Association (SLBA) yesterday assured solidarity with the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ) on the alleged beating of female journalists by presidential guards.
“We are in solidarity with SLAJ. Today is an attack on journalists, tomorrow it may be Lawyers. We are very much concerned as an association by such arbitrary action meted on them,” Robert B. Kowa told journalists.
During the match between Sierra Leone and Liberia on September 8, 2019, security guards attached to the presidency allegedly attacked and beat up two female journalists working for the state broadcaster- Sierra Leone Broadcasting Corporation (SLBC) while carrying out their official duties.
Several organizations, including the Sports Writers Association of Sierra Leone, Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ) and Women in the Media Sierra Leone (WIMSAL) condemned the attack and called for speedy investigation.
Kowa called for professional bodies in the country to be free and protected in the performance of their duties and responsibilities by security agencies.
He noted that the association was patiently waiting on the committee, which was setup by the government through the Ministry of Information and Communications to bring out its report by the end of the week.
“We are monitoring and expecting the report to come out as soon as possible and will make a rejoinder on it. What was troubling is that the attacks were done by three security guards on female Journalists,” Kowa noted.
Kowa added that they were expecting trained security personnel to know how to handle, especially female journalists.