Sierra Leone Update: Continued investigation of journalist

The Criminal Investigations Department (CID) in Sierra Leone invited Dr. David Tam-Baryoh, a journalist who hosts the programme “Monologue” on Citizen Radio in Sierra Leone, to the CID headquarters on January 31, 2015.

MFWA’s correspondent in the country reported that Tam-Brayoh’s presence was requested during a transcription of a tape which allegedly contained an interview he conducted with the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) Publicity Secretary Musa Tamba Sam in October 2014.

The journalist, however, did not honour the invitation.

Head of CID Crime Management, Chief Superintendent Ibrahim Koroma, told the correspondent that CID had invited the journalist to complete an investigation they had started. “We are not under pressure or being instructed by anybody or any quarter to do what we are doing,” said Chief Superintendent Koroma.

Koroma also told the correspondent that members of the Independent Media Commission (IMC) were all present at the CID, but the transcription could not be done because Tam-Baryoh said he was not going to make himself available.

Tam-Baryoh later confirmed to the correspondent that he did, in fact, say this to the police.

But the CID head insisted Tam-Baryoh must be present because, according to him, Tam-Baryoh will have to sign the transcript.

Previously, on November 3, 2014, Dr. David Tam-Baryoh was arrested pursuant to an “Executive Detention Order” and detained at the CID before being transferred to the Male Correctional Centre at Pademba Road in Freetown.

He was released without charge on November 14, 2014, after spending 10 days in detention on a 50 million Leones bail (about US$11,500).

Even though the executive detention order stated that Tam-Baryoh was arrested for incitement, many believe the authorities wanted to prevent him from further criticising how the government is handling the Ebola crisis.

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