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Journalist beaten by police, briefly detained

(MFWA/IFEX) - On the night of 13 October 2010, Kadijatu Savage, a journalist with the privately-owned "Independent Observer" newspaper was reportedly arrested and detained by police personnel drawn from the Motor Traffic Unit of the Freetown police for photographing their brutalities on motor taxi riders.

The Media Foundation for West Africa's (MFWA) correspondent in Sierra Leone reported that Savage, who went to the central business district of the capital to cover a police swoop on motor taxi riders, was violently beaten and detained briefly at the Freetown Central Police station, before being released upon the intervention of her managing editor, Jonathan Leigh.

The correspondent said the police descended on Savage and subjected her to severe beatings on realising that she was photographing their atrocities on motor riders.

"I am a journalist working for the 'Independent Observer' newspaper, I told the officer, but (he did not) listen and started beating me. After manhandling me, he took me to the central police station where he told me that I would be charged with an offence of obstructing the police", she told the correspondent.

The correspondent added that the journalist experienced pains all over her body including her left eye.

Meanwhile, the personnel and management members of the newspaper have roundly condemned the police action and formally launched a protest with the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ).

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