Chairman of Teachers Solidarity in Sierra Leone arrested for talking out on nationwide tv – Welcome to the Sierra Leone Telegraph

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 28 April 2022:

There is widespread anger amongst schoolteachers in Sierra Leone, after the arrest on Tuesday by police of Mr Khan, the Interim Chairman of Teachers Solidarity. He was snatched away by police exterior fashionable TV station – AYV after talking reside on a programme in regards to the plight of schoolteachers and their circumstances of service.

Shocked and dismayed by his arbitrary arrest, regardless of President Bio claiming to have expunged a legislation that criminalises libel and hinders free speech, the administration of AYV TV revealed this assertion:

“AYV is drawing the eye of the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists, the Independent Media Commission and your complete safety sector particularly the Sierra Leone Police to the arrest of Mohamed Khan after his look on AYV’s Wake Up Sierra Leone this morning.

“Mr Khan, the Interim Chairman of Teachers Solidarity was invited as a visitor on the programme and was arrested simply exterior AYV’s premises quickly after he left the present.

“As a non-public {and professional} media establishment in Sierra Leone, AYV dissociates itself from the motion of the Sierra Leone Police and wish to remind the SLP that its work is guided and guarded by statutes together with probably the most supreme legislation; the 1991 Constitution of Sierra Leone.

“Therefore, we kindly ask that the safety forces chorus from making AYV’s premises a goal location for arbitrary arrests as it will hinder our operations as a media establishment and in addition infringe on the suitable to free speech which is assured by the 1991 Constitution of Sierra Leone.

“In addition, AYV is seriously concerned about the detention of Mr Khan for which the SLP has not provided a reason on record nor confirmed whether they had a warrant of arrest. We kindly request such information to be made public to promote law and order and prevent similar recurrence.”

Yesterday, it was additionally reported that two different leaders of the Teachers Solidarity group have been arrested within the southern province of Bo and positioned behind bars.

The Sierra Leone police are but to touch upon these arrests, as issues develop over the police’s use of what’s described as “powers from above” to muzzle free speech and arrest critics within the nation.

A current report revealed by the American authorities accuses the Bio-led authorities of great human rights abuses. Also, a report revealed final yr by the European Union elections observer mission to Sierra Leone, accused the police of high-handedness and missing political impartiality.

Last week, opposition critic – Perspective Scope, stated that President Bio’s authorities has gone again on its promise to finish the arrest of journalists and assaults by ruling occasion supporters in opposition to these with whom the federal government disagrees, citing many examples of such arbitrary arrests and assaults since President Bio was elected in 2018. This is what they stated:

July 2018

Arrest and detention of a civil society activist, Edmond Abu, Executive Director of Native Consortium and Research Centre, by the Sierra Leone Police for staging a peaceable protest in Freetown in opposition to the increments in gasoline pump worth.

Invitation of the Leader and Chairman of ADP Mohamed Kamarainba Mansaray and Abdul Fonti Kabia, previously of AYV, to CID for interview he granted in response to allegation referring to the alleged publication of false information.

September 2018

Invitation of journalist to Parliament to reply to some questions in reference to a narrative broadcast on African Young Voices TV, titled “Caught on Camera”, involving a member of parliament, Hon. Veronica Kadie Sesay and two others in a land matter. The AYV Director of News and Current Affairs, Mr. Samuel Wise Bangura, appeared earlier than Parliament and was requested to retract and apologise. But he refused/declined.

Attack on the writer of The Elephant Newspaper, Nimalty Kamara, allegedly by youth of the ruling Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) for allegedly criticising the brand new regime of President Julius Maada Bio.

Attack on AYV TV journalist, Ransford Metzger, whereas investigating an alleged corruption matter on the St. Joseph Secondary School in Freetown.

Attack on the previous Editor of Awareness Times Newspaper – John Koroma, throughout a Bye-Election in Tonko Limba, Kambia District, Northern Sierra Leone, on September 29, 2018, allegedly by a group of Sierra Leone Police officers and individuals overtly figuring out themselves as SLPP supporters.

Arrest of Fayia Amara Fayia of Star Radio and Standard Times Newspaper by CID officers exterior the AYV media on what the CID stated was a publish on his Facebook web page containing defamatory phrases in opposition to His Excellency the President of the Republic of Sierra Leone.

November 2018

Harassment of Alhassan Jalloh, Editor of the Unique Newspaper, by law enforcement officials hooked up to the Lumley Police Station within the West finish of Freetown, whereas investigating a fracas between Leonco Filling Station at Lumley and a mosque.

January 2018

Arrest and detention of Alpha Thorley, Managing Editor of the NightWatch Newspaper by the Sierra Leone Police on 14th January, 2019 on the allegation of publishing false info that a number of diplomatic passports have been illegally given to households of the ruling authorities officers.

May 2019

Attacks on and intimidation of civil society leaders, together with the Executive Director of Campaign for Good Governance (CGG), Madam Marcella Samba-Sesay, who had publicly expressed essential views on the media in regards to the governance challenges.

Attack on a civil society activist, Morlai Conteh, President of the National Youth Coalition of Sierra Leone, allegedly by a gaggle of navy officers of the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces (RSLAF) after the primary opposition All People‘s Congress (APC) occasion did a walkout protest of the Presidential State Opening of Parliament on 2nd May 2019.

June 2019

Arrest and detention of 4 native journalists- Sallieu Tejan Jalloh, Publisher of the Times SL Newspaper; David Johnson, Editor of Times SL Newspaper; Mustapha Sesay, General Editor, Standard Times Newspaper; and Abu Bakarr Kargbo (Father Bakish), a Senior Staff Writer of Standard Times Newspaper- in Freetown on Friday twenty eighth June 2019. They have been charged with eight-counts for allegedly publishing defamatory articles within the Times SL Newspaper and the Standard Times Newspaper respectively in opposition to Pa Momoh Fofanah Esq, a Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of Sierra Leone.

September 2019

Assault on two feminine sport journalists (Francess Bernard- Bundor and Easter Marie Samura) of the Sierra Leone Broadcasting Cooperation (SLBC) by Officers of the Sierra Leone Presidential guard on Sunday eighth September 2019 on the National Stadium, through the FIFA 2022 World Cup Preliminary return-led match between Sierra Leone and Liberia.

Arrest and detention of Mahmud Tim Kargbo on twentieth September 2019 for allegedly publishing a ‘defamatory article’ in opposition to Hon Justice Miatta Samba’, an Appeal Court Judge.

November 2019

Arrest and detention of the Managing Editor of the Times Newspaper Sallieu Tejan Jalloh (Sal Tee) on eleventh November 2019 in Freetown, by plainclothes law enforcement officials in reference to an SMS textual content message that he despatched to the Chief Minister of Sierra Leone, Prof. David Francis enquiring about an alleged fee of US$ 1.5 million into his non-public ECOBANK account by SL Mining, which license had been cancelled by the state. (END)

December 2021

A TV digital camera operator working for Sierra Leone’s impartial AYV media was attacked by at the very least eight law enforcement officials at their headquarters in Freetown, when he tried to research an outbreak of violence within the east of town, after a critical accident involving a police automobile.

With Presidential and common elections due subsequent yr, there are fears the federal government and police could step up the arrest and intimidation of journalists, critics, and opposition politicians within the nation to remain in energy, which might result in large public dysfunction and widespread violence within the nation.  

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