Poindexter Sama and Alie Turay, reporter and graphic designer respectively, of privately-owned Awoko newspaper were in the morning of August 2, 2012 violently attacked by a group of soldiers drawn from the Sierra Leone Army. The attack which left Sama with a swollen face and blistered lips also resulted in the loss of their mobile phones and seizure of cameras.
The Media Foundation for West Africa’s (MFWA) correspondent reported that the attack on the journalists occurred when they (journalists) merely attempted to take snap shots of the soldiers as they were passing in front of the newspaper’s office. According to the correspondent, the journalists explained that they thought the soldiers were rushing to the scene of riot at the Defence Ministry supposedly to put the situation under control.
Though the journalists tried to identify themselves, the angry soldiers pounced on them, heckled them and seized their cameras. Their cameras were, however, returned to them hours later but in a bad state. The MFWA is aggrieved at the harassment of journalists and calls upon the authorities to ensure their protection especially with the approach of the general elections in November.
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Kwame Karikari (Prof)
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