Police Strip Female Journalist
A female journalist working for Concord Times Newspaper, Victoria Saffa was on Friday 22nd March 2013 assaulted and stripped naked by police personnel attached to the Ross Road (B) Division Police headquarters.
According to the victim, she was going to work when she accosted some police personnel and commercial motorbike riders in a fierce confrontation along the SLRTA office on Kissy Road and decided to cover the story by taking photographs of the scuffle between the two parties with her mobile phone.
Victoria Saffa said that this infuriated the police personnel who rushed at her, beat her up and striped her naked and that while in detention, she was also severely tortured at the police station before statements were obtained from her on the allegation that she obstructed the police from executing their duty.
According to Mr. David Sesay, National President, Commercial Motorbike Riders Union, he saw a number of police personnel beating up the victim and that her gadgets were taken away before she was escorted into the police van and that he saw the police torturing the journalist inside the police van which he frowned at and appealed that the perpetrators be swiftly brought to book.
Kelfala Juana, National Director of Bike Riders Union pledged to support the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ) with video clips of how Victoria Saffa was manhandled and stripped naked by the police adding, “I saw the police spitting at her before she was taken away into the police van.”
Alimamy Bangura and other members of the public who witnessed the event spoke in similar vein.
Meanwhile, SLAJ President, Umaru Fofanah has condemned the action of the police and called on the Inspector General to investigate the highhandedness of the police to save the relationship between the media and the police that has been cordial in recent times.
Victoria Saffa was released on bail on the instructions of the Local Unit Commander of ‘B’ Division, Superintendent Gbonnoh, who has apologized to the SLAJ President asserting that the incident was unfortunate.
The police returned to Victoria Saffa all her equipment earlier seized.
By A. R. Bedor Kamara
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