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SLAJ condem police attack on press freedom

SLAJ condem police attack on press freedom

Freetown: The Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ) is gravely disturbed by reports of an attack on press freedom by no less a person than the Local Unit Commander of the Sierra Leone Police, Superintendent Biango in Kabala, Northern Sierra Leone.

A local newspaper, the Global Times, reported that the Police Commander last Sunday ordered the confiscation of several copies of its Wednesday 26th October, 2011 edition on the grounds that an article critical of the former SLPP District Chairman, Alhaji Allie Batorma Sheriff who has now defected to the ruling APC party was a “breach of peace” in the district.

SLAJ views as unfortunate, backward and illegal, the act of the senior police officer who without any court order, arrogates to himself the right to confiscate and thereby hampers the distribution of a legally registered newspaper. This retrogressive act is a blatant misuse of his powers.

SLAJ therefore totally condemns the act of Superintendent Biango; which is a breach of press freedom and people’s right to information which is guaranteed in the 1991 Constitution of Sierra Leone.  In that light, the association urges the Police hierarchy and the Independent Media Commission to speedily investigate this matter and take appropriate measures to prevent a repeat.

SLAJ, Freetown

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