Sierra Leone is one of the few countries in the world where journalists are been jailed for publishing stories that are critical of the government, yet they pride themselves as democratic country.

On Monday 14 January, Emmanuel A Tholley,  publisher of Night Watch Newspaper was arrested and detained at the smelly cells of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID).

The editor was arrested for publishing a story that states that some of the President relatives of the President have been issued diplomatic passports for which the newspaper published the alleged diplomatic passports of one Agnes Bio.

The Police Officers at CID are demanding that the editor disclose his source of such a story.

In all of this, President Bio has earlier made a commitment to Press Freedom and to expunge the obnoxious Part 5 of the 1965 Public Order Act that criminalizes libel in Sierra Leone in the first ever Presidential-Media Cocktail.

In his New Direction Manifesto, President Bio also committed to repealing the seditious libel law.

“Fellow Citizens, we will continue to open up democratic spaces in order to strengthen our democracy. We will repeal the Criminal Libel Law and continue to assure the Freedom of the Press,” President Bio stated.

Despite the assurance the President gave Sierra Leone about opening up the democratic spaces and freedom of the Press, the Sierra Leone Police has arrested the Editor of Night Watch, following the arrest of another journalist Faya Amara Faya of Star Radio.

As such, many people are beginning to question the sincerity of the government like other government before them in opening the democratic space and in ensuring Press freedom.


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