Sierra Leone detains journalist over 'incitement'

GMT 01:01 2014 Friday ,07 November

Arab Today, arab today Sierra Leone detains journalist over 'incitement'

A veteran Sierra Leonean journalist
Freetown - XINHUA

A veteran Sierra Leonean journalist and broadcaster David Tam Baryoh has spent two days at the maximum prison, Pademba road in Freetown following his arrest and detention on Tuesday by an executive order signed by the President.
According to the Attorney General and Minister of Justice Mr. Frank Kargbo, Mr. Tarm Baryoh was arrested under the Public Emergency regulations which is now in force to curb the Ebola scrouge.
Addressing the media on Wednesday, Kargbo said the detention came from an executive order which was signed by President Ernest Bai Koroma and it was executed by the police.
The Legal Adviser to the government noted that "the President has the power to do this under the public order state of emergency regulations which was approved by parliament in July".
The regulations gave the President the right to go with measures that will assist in the fight against Ebola, said Frank Kargbo.
"Whoever obstructs, incites or has the tendency to undermine the efforts of government to put the Ebola scrouge at the back of us, the constitution has given the president the mandate and power to sign an executive order to detain anyone for investigation by the police," the minister stated.
Meanwhile, the professional body, Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ) in a statement issued in reaction to the arrest by urging government to "respect the health condition of Mr. Baryoh" who is now detained at the maximum security Pademba Road prison in the west of the city.
The president of SLAJ, Kelvin Lewis cautioned the security authorities that "the said detainee needs urgent medical attention as he is an hypertensive patient."
He said that Baryoh's personal doctor, who had examined him in detention recommended that he should be hospitalised to avoid a crisis.
In reaction to the statement, the Deputy Minister of Information, Theo Nicol said the journalist was arrested for what he termed "incitement", but could not elaborate.
He said the medics at the prison will also check him. He went on to say that the matter is being investigated by the police.
Baryoh runs a weekend syndicated radio programme, "Monologue" which deals with socio-political issues within the country.
The government had suspended the said program for six weeks but allowed to resume broadcast about a month ago.
No specific reason was given for Baryoh's detention. However, a source told Xinhua that Baryoh made some remarks that did not "go down well" with the government and he commented on the government's handling of the Ebola crisis in his programe over the weekend.

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