Sierra Leone: Telecom regulator drags journalists to court

Freetown, Sierra Leone (PANA) - Three media practitioners are set to appear in court on Friday, after they were sued on multiple counts of sedition and criminal libel by the National Telecommunication Commission (NATCOM).

Executive Editor of New Age newspaper, Ibrahim Samura, and his Consultant Editor, Thomas Dixon, have both been slammed with four-count charges of sedition and criminal libel.

Dixon is also been sued as the Editor of Salon Times on a ten-count charge of sedition and criminal libel. Owner of the Salon Times newspaper, Donald Theo Harding, has also been sued.

The court action follows two stories that the journalists did back in March, following a decision by NATCOM and the two biggest mobile companies in the country to increase the price of mobile units

All the journalists have refused to make any comment ahead of the court sitting as Journalists have planned to march to court in solidarity with their colleagues.

In Sierra Leone, all the accused journalists could be jailed if they are found guilty of sedition or criminal libel. The Sierra Leone Association of Journalists have spent decades lobbying successive governments for criminal libel law to be taken off the constitution and be replaced with a civil act.

It is fairly common for journalists in Sierra Leone to be locked up on libel charges, however, there have been no convictions of any journalist in the last decade for libel or sedition. Most of the cases have been settled out of court.
-0- PANA MJN/VAO 22Sept2017  

22 september 2017 14:20:35

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