11 February 1998


Three newspapers suspended; one journalist detained

Incident details

Martins I. Martin



(RSF/IFEX) - On 4 February 1998, the independent triweeklies "The Vision"
and "Independent Observer" were officially suspended for failing to pay
their registration taxes. On 21 January 1998, the Minister of Information
had demanded that newspapers be registered or re-registered before 31
January 1998, for a fee of 50 US$ and 25 US$ respectively. On 16 January
1998, the independent weekly "Standard Times" was shut down by the
authorities. No official reason was given.

Martins I. Martin, a journalist with "Business News", has been held for more
than a month for allegedly spying for the Ecomog forces.

Sierra Leone has ratified the International Convenant on Civil and Political
Rights, Article 19 of which guarantees the freedom to inform and to be informed.

Recommended Action

Send appeals to authorities:

  • appealing them to lift the ban on "Standard Times" and to allow "Vision"
    and "Independent Observer" to resume publication
  • asking them to give explanations for the arrest of Martins I. Martin
  • appealing to them to release him if his detention is directly linked with
    his profession

    Appeals To

    Major Johnny Paul Koroma
    State House
    Sierra Leone
    (Fax is currently out of order)

    Please copy appeals to the source if possible.

  • Source

    Reporters Without Borders
    47, rue Vivienne
    75002 Paris
    rsf (@) rsf.org
    Fax:+33 1 45 23 11 51
    Sierra Leone
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