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Security personnel assault, injure eight journalists covering political party meeting

(MFWA/IFEX) - On 13 August 2008, security personnel deployed at the State House in Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone, violently assaulted eight journalists covering a meeting between the ruling All Peoples Congress Party (APC) and the main opposition Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP).

The MFWA correspondent reported that security personnel, including policemen, assailed the journalists and confiscated their working tools, including their cameras, cell phones and audio recorders.

All the journalists are from independent media houses. Six work with newspapers and the other two with radio stations.

The newspaper journalists are: Boima J. Bomia of the "Pool", Alima Fofana of the "Exclusive", Haruna Turay and Sitta Turay, of "Awareness Time", Edie Tayo G. Temple of "For Di People" and Sheikh Bawoh of the "New Vision". Ola Tungie Yaskey and Micheal Kargbo work with the radio stations SKYY and Galaxy, respectively.

"I was only rescued by some civilians after (the security personnel) rained serious blows and punches all over my body", Bomia told the correspondent.

The journalists are receiving medical treatment for the injuries they sustained.

The Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ) and the Sierra Leone Reporters Union (SLRU) have expressed concern about the increasing number of attacks against journalists under the administration of President Ernest Bai Korama.

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