SLAJ Warns Against Hate Speech On Social Media
The Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ) is deeply perplexed by the recent violent protests in the country that claimed the lives of innocent civilians and security service personnel, and the destruction of public property reminiscent of our 11 years of civil war (1991-2002).
We convey our sincere condolences to their bereaved families and may their souls rest in peace.
SLAJ is further concerned about the trend of happenings in the country showing deep hate and division along tribe, region, and politics, leaving little or no room for healthy dialogue, and well-meaning engagement and consultation on national issues. The debates and interactions on the newfound social media space are full of these divisions. And these divisions are permeating our homes, communities, places of worship, educational institutions, public and private offices, the media, civil society organisations, the security forces, professional associations, unions, and social and cultural groupings, among young people, adults, the aged, etc.
SLAJ is deeply worried that if we continue on this path there is every possibility that our dark history will revisit us. And when that happens, we (including our children and future generations) all lose.
SLAJ President, Ahmed Sahid Nasralla, said: “We are a nation apparently on the brink, and we must work together to return to the center. We need to de-escalate the rhetoric, hypocrisy, hate, and politics so that we can dialogue in a respectful and patriotic manner on national issues in the interest of the public good. It should never be an issue of THEM vs US or vice versa.”
To address impunity for heinous crimes against innocent civilians and security personnel, SLAJ calls for justice and accountability in a fair, transparent, and impartial manner, with respect for fundamental rights and freedoms.
Meanwhile, SLAJ reminds journalists about their responsibility to promote peace, stability, and national cohesion, and to inform the public accurately on issues.
Alhaji Manika Kamara
National Secretary General
Saturday, 13th August 2022
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