John Raka Conteh, a panelist on Radio Gbath, an independent community radio station in Tonkolili district, north of Sierra Leone, attacked the station after refusing orders from the moderator. Conteh, an aspirant for the position of District Youth Chairman of Yoni Chiefdom, together with two of his supporters, vandalized the station on the night of July 19, 2012 after his behaviour forced the station to suspend an interview he was granting them.
The Media Foundation for West Africa’s (MFWA) correspondent reported that the attack resulted in the destruction of equipment including laptop computers, digital recorders and external hard drives. “Conteh who had been invited to discuss the postponement of the elections persistently refused to answer questions put to him but instead digressed, causing the moderator to put him off air”, Hasan Koroma, station manager told the correspondent.
As a result of the moderator’s action, Conteh pounced on and manhandled him while his two accomplices forcefully entered the studio with broken bottles and attempted to stab him. The MFWA calls on the police as well as authorities of Tonkolili District to investigate the incident and ensure that the attackers are brought to book.
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