Soldier assaults journalist while covering arrest proceedings

The Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) joins the Press Union of Liberia (PUL) to  strongly denounce the recent attack on journalist Joseph Tumbey by a Sierra Leonean soldier in Monrovia. The attack happened on August 8, 2023, and entails the soldier brutally assaultimg Tumbey, a senior reporter at the New Democrat Newspaper and publisher of the Afric Daily Newspaper online, in the Liberian capital Monrovia.

The journalist described the incident as extremely aggressive. He added that the unidentified soldier not only obstructed his work, but also damaged his phone in the process.

Joseph Tumbey was at the Liberia National Police headquarters to cover the arrest of the former Sierra Leone Police Chief, Mohammed Turay who was accused of involvement in a coup plot against the government of President Julius Bio of Sierra Leone.

Tumbey, who couldn’t identify any other motive for the attack, explained that he was assaulted when a soldier saw him taking out his phone to record. The soldier immediately approached him and attempted to seize his equipment.

The journalist expressed fear for his safety, stating his reluctance to travel to Sierra Leone, to further cover of similar proceedings.

“I am afraid of the Sierra Leone Army and I have become quite hesitant to interview foreigners,” Tumbey added.

He reported the incident to the Press Union of Liberia (PUL), which has condemned the attack and called upon the Liberian National Police to conduct a thorough investigation and take appropriate action against the perpetrator.

The Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) joins the PUL to condemn the assault on Journalist Tumbey and demand investigations into the matter. We call on the police to investigate and identify the perpetrator to face the law and urge the Sierra Leonean  military high command to sanction the perpetrator, once identified, without prejudice to any criminal proceedings that will be brought against him.

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