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Vol 54 No 23

Published 15th November 2013

Sierra Leone

Angry Koroma lashes out at the press

Amidst growing intolerance of dissent, police threw two journalists into prison after the President took offence at a newspaper article

The biggest media crackdown since the civil war ended in 2002 is underway in Sierra Leone. Two editors of the Independent Observer newspaper, Jonathan Leigh and Bai Bai Sesay, face a possible three years in gaol if convicted of seditious libel after a front-page article likened President Ernest Bai Koroma to a rat. The men were arrested on 18 October, a day after the offending article was published, and spent 18 days in the maximum security Pademba Road Prison before being released on stringent bail conditions. They are due back in court on 18 November.

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