By Sylvester Samba.
The attention of the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ) has been drawn to an act of violence against three reporters and two camera operators working for the African Young Voices (AYV) Media Empire by a group of supporters of the All People’s Congress (APC) party in Makeni. A senior official of the party was alleged to have given orders to supporters to severely manhandle the journalists.
It could be recalled that hundreds of APC supporters took to the streets in Makeni in protest of police visit to the residence of former President Ernest Bai Koroma who is the Chairman and Leader of the main opposition party on Wednesday 16th January, 2019. The three journalists together with their two Camera operators were on assignment to cover the police visit to the former President.
The Management of AYV Media Empire has come out strongly to condemn what they referred to as act of thuggery against their journalists, especially so when this is not the first time such has happened. The management also said the journalists were merely doing their work professionally and cannot be subjected to persistent threats and physical harassment. “We shall embark on all available legal steps to ensure that the perpetrators are brought to book”, they noted.
Members of the All Political Parties Association (APPA) has in a recent press conference expressed total dissatisfaction over the tense political climate in the country since the transfer of political power to President Brig. Rtd. Julius Maada in April 2018. The association lamented that if the tense political situation continues like this, it may have serious implications for democratic consolidation, peace and economic stability in the near future. “Members of APPA believe that it is only by coming together that we can make a better Sierra Leone”, they noted.