Government’s position on detained Journalists
The Minister of Information and Communications, Alhaji Alpha Bakarr Kanu (in photo), has described the article which led to the arrest of the two Journalists from the Independent Observer Newspaper including the Managing Editor, Mr. Jonathan Leigh and the Editor, Mr. Bai Bai Sesay, as man made and not natural. He therefore urged listeners to speak the truth and shame the enemy.
The Minister made this assertion when addressing Journalists during the usual Government press briefing in the conference hall of the Ministry of Information and Communications at Youyi Building in Freetown
He commended Mr. Sorie Fofanah who he said condemned the article and he confirmed that there is always cordiality between the Government and the media.
He explained President Dr Ernest Bai Koroma has been protecting the rights of Journalists, observing that since he came to power in 2007, no Journalist had ever appeared before any Court or been castigated by Government officials. He urged Journalists to see themselves as partners in development and not as tools to cause destruction in the land.
The Minister observed that the arrest of the two Journalists was not ordered by President Koroma or his Government, but that it was made by the Police for demeaning the name of the President.
The soft spoken Minister maintained that what was written in that paper has the tendency to insight people to a state of confusion. He intimated that the comparison of President Koroma to a rat is very disrespectful and degrading.
He said a rat is always chased by people to be killed, a rat is a thief and a rat is destructive. He maintained that the article was written only to provoke President Koroma whom he described as a kind hearted gentleman.
He noted that Journalists only look at the interest of their colleagues and not the interest of the President. He pointed out that human right laws have limitations which everybody is expected to adhere to but he was quick to say that Journalists have ignored human rights to reprimand the First gentleman of the State.
By Abdulai Mento Kamara
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