2 February 1998


Journalist forced into hiding, newspaper suspended

Incident details

Sorie Sudan Sesay


(ARTICLE 19/IFEX) - Sorie Sudan Sesay, a senior journalist for the
"Independent Observer", has been forced into hiding following the issue of a
warrant for his arrest in connection with an article claiming that Iranian
soldiers were due to come to Sierra Leone.

As well, "The Democrat" suspended publication in recent days following
threats from government officials. On 16 January 1998, another publication,
the "Standard Times", was banned for an indefinite period of time due to an
article considered "offensive to the junta". The article in question quoted
the deposed president Ahmed Tejan Kabbah and criticised France and China for
supporting the junta (see IFEX alert of 2 February 1998).

Recommended Action

Send appeals to authorities:

  • asking them to ensure that the harassment of Sorie Sudan Sesay ceases
    immediately and that the warrant for his arrest is withdrawn
  • reminding them that such harassment constitutes a violation of his
    internationally guaranteed right to freedom of expression
  • reminding them that such harassment comes in the context of persistent
    attacks against the independent press in Sierra Leone over the past month
  • telling them that such harassment represents a violation of Article 19 of
    the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which Sierra Leone
    has ratifed

    Appeals To

    Major Johnny Paul Koroma
    State House
    Sierra Leone

    Please copy appeals to the source if possible.

  • Source

    ARTICLE 19: Global Campaign for Free Expression
    6-8 Amwell Street
    EC1R 1UQ
    United Kingdom
    info (@) article19.org
    Fax:+44 20 7278 7660
    Sierra Leone
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