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Sierra Leone


New York, October 17, 2008--The director and a staff member of the Society for Democratic Initiatives (SDI), a Sierra Leone media advocacy group, say they are receiving death threats after publishing a report on press conditions late last month.

MAY 8, 2008

Posted June 6, 2008

Unity Radio

On May 8, 2008, the opposition-run Unity Radio station in Freetown was ordered shut down by the presidential press secretary, Sheka Tarawalie. Tarawalie said the station had installed an antenna that exceeded frequency regulations and was interfering with the airwaves of other radio stations. The station, however, was legally registered, and had not been banned from broadcasting by the Independent Media Commission.

May 2008
News from the Committee to Protect Journalists

Journalists from Sierra Leone, Russia, and the Philippines describe the failure of justice and the effect on their work.

CPJ's Impunity Index ranks countries where killers of journalists go free

New York, April 30, 2008 -- Democracies from Colombia to India and Russia to the Philippines are among the worst countries in the world at prosecuting journalists' killers according to the Impunity Index, a list of countries compiled by the Committee to Protect Journalists where governments have consistently failed to solve journalists' murders.

March 17, 2008

President Ernest Bai Koroma
c/o The Embassy of Sierra Leone to the United States
1701, 19th St., NW
Washington, D.C. 20009

Via fascimile: (202) 483-1793

Dear Mr. President,

We are writing to express our grave concern about the recent arrest of an editor and a publisher under criminal libel laws, despite your pledges to decriminalize libel cases in Sierra Leone.

Editor detained under defamation law

FEBRUARY 11, 2008Posted February 27, 2008
Jonathan Leigh, The Independent Observer

Freetown police arrested and detained the managing editor of the private daily The Independent Observer on 15 February on criminal libel charges.

When Press Freedom and Democracy Are Out of Step
By Tom Rhodes

Ballots may have replaced bullets in much of Africa since the dawn of this new century, but one of the great political ironies for at least part of the continent has been a loss of press freedom following the voting. Leaders in a large swath of sub-Saharan Africa have drawn approving nods from Western politicians for holding sometimes unprecedented elections. Three such countries are the Gambia, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and Ethiopia. All have democratically elected presidents and Western support. Yet between them they hold the unenviable record of placing at or near the top of CPJ's 2007 list of the world's worst backsliders on press freedom.
Attacks & developments throughout the region

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Killed in Sierra Leone

16 journalists killed since 1992

9 journalists murdered

9 murdered with impunity



Program Coordinator:
Sue Valentine

Advocacy Coordinator:
Mohamed Keita

East Africa Consultant:
Tom Rhodes

West Africa Consultant:
Peter Nkanga


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