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Police Council assumes responsibility in assault on journalists, pledges compensation for damages

(MFWA/IFEX) - On 24 September 2008, the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ) lifted the news blackout it imposed on the activities of the country's police over attacks on some of its members by police personnel.

The Media Foundation for West Africa's (MFWA) correspondent reported that the lifting of the ban followed the intervention of Sam Sumana, the country's Vice President, and Ibrahim Ben Kargbo, the Communications Minister.

The correspondent said Sumana, who is the Chairman of the Police Council, assumed responsibility for the attack and promised to refund the monies and equipment the journalists lost.

After some feet dragging, SLAJ imposed the blackout on 22 September, six weeks after the police authorities had refused to implement a recommendation by a committee to compensate the affected journalists. Eight journalists were violently attacked by policemen at the State House in Freetown on 13 August while on assignment.

Updates the case involving the police assault on journalists: http://www.ifex.org/en/content/view/full/97176

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