October 9, 2018 Freedom of Expression, Protest Letters by PPF Web Desk
Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF) in a letter to Julius Maada Bio, President of Sierra Leone has expressed concern over the assault on John Korama, editor of Awareness Times newspaper.
PPF Secretary General Owais Aslam Ali in his letter, denounced this vicious attack on a journalist and urged authorities to immediately investigate this matter and hold those responsible for beating a journalist on line of duty.
According to Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA), the vigilantes of ruling Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) assaulted Korama during the coverage of by-election at Mile-14 Town in Tonko Limba on September 29.
The thugs, who were threatening the voters reached at the Saint Mary's Secondary School polling station, saw the journalist secretly recording their doings.
The journalist than decided to leave the polling station but it was too late because a number of thugs surrounded him, they refused his claim to be a journalist. Other members of the gang suspected his newspaper to be anti-SLPP. Before Korama could say a single word to defend his organization, he was slapped.
MFWA further added that, the journalist sought help from a police officer, but the officer ordered him to sit on the ground. The mob than started beating journalist, they slapped and kicked him.
According to Korama, "During the time they were beating me up, I had covered my head to protect my skull bones. After I heard the voice of Mr. Umaru Fomba, the National Electoral Commission Returning Officer, telling them that I am a journalist. I lifted up my head and I saw to my utter shock, SLPP Chairman, Manso Dumbuya, had been there as the boys were beating me. He looked at me but did not say a single word."
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