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Radio station vandalised, staff members threatened with death

(MFWA/IFEX) - An angry mob from Tombo, a rural town 40 km from Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone, on 24 November 2008 besieged the premises of Voice of Peninsular, a community radio station in the town and destroyed the station's broadcasting equipment.

The youth also took away two of the station's transmitters and other equipment, including the only generator.

Media Foundation for West Africa's (MFWA) correspondent reported that the angry mob, who had come to the station's premises to register their displeasure about a press release the station aired, threatened the lives of the staff, including the station manager, Salieu Mangeh Koroma, who has since gone into hiding.

The correspondent said the press release, which emanated from the town councillor's office, announced the councillor's decision to dissolve all standing committees in the area in which most of the youth group were members. Unhappy with the announcement, the youth decided to vent their spleen on the station, which they claimed had no right to broadcast such information.

"I am currently in hiding for fear of my life, I was beaten and also sustained wounds on my face and my body," Koroma told the correspondent. He added that the threats had also been extended to his family and his four volunteer staff members.

Meanwhile, the behaviour of the youth has since been roundly condemned.

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