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Media
How African Free Expression Organisations Marked Day on Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity. PDF Print E-mail
Media
Written by press statement   
Monday, 09 November 2015 14:09

On Monday November 2, 2015, member organisations of the African Freedom of Expression Exchange (AFEX), made up of the nine most prominent free expression rights advocacy organisations on the continent, joined the global press freedom community to mark the UN-designated International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists.

AFEX is made up of the Centre for Media Studies and Peacebuilding (CEMESP) in Liberia; Media Rights Agenda (MRA) in Nigeria; Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA);  Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) in Ghana; National Union of Somali Journalists (NUSOJ) in Somalia; Journalists en Danger (JED) in Democratic Republic of Congo; Human Rights Network of Journalists (HRNJ-U) in Uganda; Africa Freedom of Information Centre (AFIC) in Uganda; and the West African Journalists Association (WAJA) in Senegal.

Here are brief highlights of activities carried out by AFEX members to highlight the need for countries to protect journalists and to punish crimes against journalists as a way of fighting impunity.

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INTERNATIONAL DAY TO END IMPUNITY: Countries Must Be Committed To Safety Of Journalists PDF Print E-mail
Media
Written by MFWA   
Wednesday, 04 November 2015 20:47

As the world celebrates World Impunity Day today November 2, 2015, the MFWA urges countries in West Africa to be committed to safety of journalists and ensure justice for victims of free expression violations.

In 2013, the UN General Assembly passed a Resolution on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity. The Resolution urged Member States to prevent violence against journalists and media workers, ensure accountability and bring to justice perpetrators of crimes against journalists and media workers. The Resolution also called on States to promote a safe and enabling environment for journalists to perform their work independently and without undue interference.

According to the MFWA’s Press Freedom Violation Monitoring Report, 100 cases of press freedom violations were recorded in 2014 alone. This included attacks and threats, arbitrary arrests, cases of censorship and punitive fines. Even before 2015 ends, the MFWA has recorded 102 press freedom violations. These violations have mainly been in the form of physical attacks, arbitrary arrests and detentions. More than 130 journalists have been victims of free expression violations.

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IMC CONCLUDES TEN COMPLAINTS: RADIO STATIONS AND NEWSPAPERS FINED PDF Print E-mail
Media
Written by press statement   
Tuesday, 06 October 2015 11:57

The Independent Media Commission (IMC) has concluded ten (10) complaints against media institutions and practitioners. The Board fined eight newspapers and warned two. The matters were inquired into by the IMC’s Complaints Committee. The Board of the IMC at its meeting of Wednesday 23rd September, 2015 endorsed and ratified the recommendations of the Complaints Committee, and imposed different penalties for breaches of the IMC Media Code of Practice, 2007 and the IMC Act of 2000 as amended in 2006 and 2007.

On the complaint of Mrs. Adama Buya-Kamara against the Managing Editor, Trumpet Newspaper, the IMC Board warned the newspaper and endorsed the Complaints Committee’s recommendations. The Committee had recommended that the newspaper publishes another retraction with due prominence and do a good write-up as promised.  Mrs. Buya-Kamara complained that she had been named in a debt scandal, mentioning the name and position of her husband who was not concerned and knew nothing about the said loan. The Managing Editor told the Committee that upon realizing that the publication had offended Mrs. Buya-Kamara and was also not in the public interest, did a retraction.

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SLAJ disowns pseudo-media group PDF Print E-mail
Media
Written by press statement   
Friday, 04 September 2015 06:57

THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 3, 2015 – The attention of the Executive of the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ) has been drawn to a group calling itself the 'Media Alliance for Development', which is purportedly going around presenting awards to institutions and individuals and in the process allegedly demanding monies.

SLAJ wishes to make it abundantly clear for the benefit of the general public that its membership does not include ANY of the individuals involved with the so-called Media Alliance for Development.

SLAJ has no relationship whatsoever with this purported group. Media Alliance for Development is NOT and has NEVER been an affiliate or associate of SLAJ, and neither has any of its members.

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Suspension of Monologue Program and Democrat Newspaper by IMC PDF Print E-mail
Media
Written by SLAJ   
Saturday, 29 August 2015 23:54

Following the Press Release issued by the Independent Media Commission (IMC) suspending the “Monologue program” broadcast on Citizen Radio and Eagle FM, and also The Democrat Newspaper, the executive of the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ) notes that the Press Release did not state any provisions in the IMC Act under which they took the decision ‘to suspend while investigating’ the Monologue program.

SLAJ frowns at this decision and is concerned that such procedure is an inappropriate precedent, which must not be condoned.

SLAJ therefore calls for a reversal of this decision forthwith and for the IMC to proceed speedily with a proper investigation.

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Page 4 of 18

Editorial

2016 Global Peace Conference to be held in Freetown---as IPRA 50th Birthday confab ends in Istanbul

 

The 26th biennal conference of the Internatonal Peace Research Association (IPRA) is billed to take place in  Freetown, Sierra Leone in November 2016, marking the second time Africa has hosted the conference since the founding of IPRA in 1964. This was announced following the re-election of  the two IPRA Secretaries-general, Dr Ibrahim Seaga Shaw (pictured) and Dr Nesrin Kenar, who co-ordinated the 25th  IPRA conference in Turkey,  at the organisation’s administrative meeting on August 14 during the 25th  IPRA  conference in Istanbul  to serve a second term of two years.

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Business News

ACC CAPACITATES SIERRA LEONE COMMERCIAL BANK STAFF ON ANTI-BRIBERY AND ANTI-CORRUPTION ISSUES

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) on the request of the Management of the Sierra Leone Commercial Bank (SLCB) on Thursday 20th July, 2017 commenced anti- bribery and anti-corruption training with staff of the Bank.

The training which was held in the Bank's Conference Room 9th Floor, Christian Smith Building 29/31 Siaka Stevens Street, Freetown attracted over twenty members of the Executive Management.

Addressing colleagues, the Managing Director, SLCB, Idrissa Aloma Kamara disclosed that the Bank has integrated into the Bank's operations anti-corruption measures, such as the development of anti-corruption policy, anti-graft messages inscribed on Bank Statements and sensitization of staff on the dangers of corruption. With all these, the MD stated, it is the view of the Bank that the ACC which is the statutory body responsible for the campaign against corruption be brought in, to provide awareness training on anti-bribery issues for an efficient and effective banking system.

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Media News

Freedom of Expression Violations Rise Sharply in West Africa

The incidents of freedom of expression rights violations in West Africa more than tripled in the first quarter (January-March) of 2017.

Over the three-month period, a total of 47 violations were recorded as against 14 violations for the last quarter (October-December) of 2016. The violations recorded in the quarter under review range from arrests and detentions to physical attacks, online violations, shutdown of media houses, censorship, seizure and destruction of property and killings. The 47 violations occurred in 10 out of the 16 countries in West Africa.

These findings are contained in the latest edition of the West Africa Freedom of Expression Monitor, a quarterly report by the MFWA which analyses and highlights freedom of expression developments in the sub-region.

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Commentary

REVIEWING THE JUNE 2017 ECOWAS SUMMIT

A PASSIONATE LETTER TO HIS EXCELLENCY THE PRESIDENT:  44TH EDITION

REVIEWING THE JUNE 2017 ECOWAS SUMMIT
 Your Excellency Sir,
 It’s been six months since I subscribed to my usual publications of this piece. And this is primarily because I have been out of the country for the entire period, and as such would not normally objectively tender a subscription. I do apologize to my readers for this. So having being in Monrovia, Liberia for the recently concluded ECOWAS Summit, I would like to do some analysis on such a historic august body and gathering of this sub-Saharan/West African region.
 
In resume, among other crucial achievements, ECOWAS, through its military apparatus, ECOMOG, played very sacrificial and invaluable roles in bringing peace, security and democratic governance to both Sierra Leone and Liberia during their past civil wars, and most recently ensuring that the Gambian people’s democratic change of government from the notorious dictatorial twenty seven years regime of Yaya Jarmeh, to the current government of President Adama Barrow, through their tactical robust intervention, overseen by President Helen JohnsonSirleaf of Liberia and other ECOWAS Presidents/actors, was enforced. Furthermore, ECOWAS has also spearheaded the enactment of several socio-political, advocacy and economic treaties in the sub region.
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View Point

WHY SIERRA LEONEANS HATE PEACE AND DEVELOPMENT

Honestly speaking Sierra Leoneans are well known for their hospitality all over the world, especially in Africa. But ironically many of them hate each other. But they love foreigners. They have high respect for strangers. But unfortunately they do not have respect among themselves. You can attest this to what is happening in the social media. Where they are showing their pull him down (PhD) syndrome. By castigating their compatriots unnecessarily. Some of them just because of jealousy and envious evil spirit they possess. They prefer to promote foreigners than their own brothers and sisters both in and out of the country.

Day in day out they are insulting each other.They are using all sorts of vulgar languages against each other. And even their own highly respected president in the world, President Ernest Bai Koroma they are insulting him openly. Therefore, it is an open secret that many Sierra Leoneans are not well cultured.

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News - Press Release

Regent village head calls on LAB to tackle domestic violence

The village head for Regent, Ms. Jokomie Browne has called on the Legal Aid Board to help curb the increase in incidence of domestic violence in the Regent Community in the outskirts of the capital Freetown.

Ms. Browne wants the Board to hold outreach events in the village to educate the people on issues of law relating to domestic violence, gender, women’s rights, redress mechanisms and support services for victims.

‘We want to benefit from the Legal Aid Board’s Legal Empowerment Programme because there is an urgent need for one in the community,’ Ms. Browne told the Executive Director of the Board, Ms. Fatmata Claire Carlton-Hanciles on the phone. ‘The situation is desperate. I am afraid if you do not come in now the situation could spiral out of control.’

The call follows series of referral of victims of domestic violence to the Legal Aid Board office in Freetown. The latest victim sent to the Board is one Baindu who was battered by her boyfriend Borbor Abu in the presence of their one year old son.

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Society -Local News

250 LAB trains staff on Alternative Dispute Resolution

A hundred and twenty-five staff and volunteers of the Sierra Leone Legal Aid Board including lawyers and paralegals have benefited from a four-day training on Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) at the Stadium Hostels in Freetown from the 24 to the 27 July 2017.

Other beneficiaries include the WAN POT Comedians, members of the National Youth Coalition and six senior officers of the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces (RSLAF). The latter includes the highest ranking female military officer, Brigadier Kestoria Kabia and the Director of Gender and Equal Opportunities at the Ministry of Defence Col. Tucker.

The training is aimed at equipping staff and partners with the requisite skills and techniques required for effective and efficient ADR. Moreover, the trainees should be able to use ADR as an alternative to litigation and using effective skill of arbitration, mediation, negotiation and active listening. 

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Development

30 Staff of the Ministry of Finance & Economic Development will go China for Seminar on Economic Planning

Thirty (30) staff of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development will depart the shore of Freetown to China on 14th August 2017. The purpose of their trip is to attend a seminar on Medium and Long-Term Economic planning for Sierra Leone. The National Development and Reform Commission of China will organize the seminar from 16th August to 7th September 2017 in the capital city of Beijing, People’s Republic of China.

The Economic and Commercial Counsellor of the Chinese Embassy in Freetown, Mr. Shen Xiaokai met with the 30 participants at the Conference Room of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development (MOFED) on 2rd August 2017. In his remarks he told the participants that in December 2016, His Excellency the President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma and the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Mr. Momodu Kargbo visited China, where they had high level bilateral meetings with Chinese Government Officials. 

He said this seminar is as a result of those meetings. “When China makes a commitment, China will fulfil it” he reiterated. He said The Ministry of Finance is one of the most important ministries in this country, therefore this seminar was designed specifically to meet the needs of the ministry.

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Politics

News from China, June 28th: Youth Affairs Minister addresses 2017 Ministerial Workshop on International Cooperation in Capacity Development in Beijing, China
Sierra Leone’s Minister of Youth Affairs has said, the 2017 Ministerial Workshop on International Cooperation in Capacity Development hosted by the Chinese government should help enhance the ties of friendship and foster the wheels of bilateral cooperation between the two nations and particularly strengthen cooperation in the field of human resource development.
 
Hon. Bai Mamoud Bangura spoke on Wednesday, 28th June, 2017, at the start of the week long Ministerial Workshop on International Cooperation, which has brought together participants from various countries, including eight (8) from Sierra Leone.
 
According to minister Bangura, in line with the spirit of friendship and cooperation, the event could serve as an opportunity to jointly define new strategic directions in Sierra Leone’s ties with China and in opening up another episode of friendship and cooperation between the two.
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