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Newspaper editor attacked by ruling party militants

(MFWA/IFEX) - 21 June 2011 - Mohamed Kai, acting editor of "The Satellite", a privately-owned Freetown-based newspaper was violently assaulted and injured on 13 June 2011 by armed assailants believed to be militants of the ruling All People's Congress (APC) Party.

Kai sustained bruises all over his body, especially across his chest and arms. His face was also swollen. He was later treated and discharged from hospital.

The Media Foundation for West Africa's (MFWA) correspondent reported that the three assailants told the editor that they were sent to harm him for his alleged publication of negative stories about the APC.

The incident occurred on Robert Street, a few metres from his home in Freetown, the capital, after he had left work.

"As I exited a taxi on Robert Street at around 23 hours GMT, men in black clothes approached me with sticks and a sharp dagger. Before I realized it, they started to hit me with the sticks. One of them violently threw me into a gutter where they continued to pounce on me," Kai told the correspondent.

The editor believes his ordeal is related to his newspaper's recent articles about an Internal Audit Report at the country's Ministry of Health that he said offended some of the "big wigs" of the ruling party.

The police have since begun investigations into the matter.

MFWA strongly condemns this attack and calls on the Sierra Leonean authorities to swiftly investigate the matter and bring the suspects to trial.

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