Police Still Arresting&Detaining Journalists, Contrary to IMC Act

Issued by PUBLIC REVIEW NEWSPAPER, 67 Siaka Stevens Street, Freetown

On 24th March, 2021 the Managing Editor of this press (Public Review) was invited and detained at the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) at Pademba Road in Freetown.

His only crime was that he published reports against one Safea Moiwa on Public Review newspaper, claiming that he was using his friend at the CID, MK Alieu and others at the Cyber Crime Unit who investigated the matter to support him in his alleged land grabbing activities.

Upon invitation by the CID officers who claimed to have been contacted by Mr.Moiwa for them to discuss the matter amicably, Mr.Turay found himself being heavily questioned and accused of flouting several laws and he eventually ended up spending a close to five hours in illegal detentionbefore he managed to gain his freedom through the intervention of some colleagues. But strangely, the CID has since denied arresting, molesting or incarcerating anyone including Mr.Turay which is very strange because there are a number of people including executive members of SLAJ who know about this matter and can confirm that indeed Mr.Turay was arrested and detained by the above-named CID officers.

All of this is against the background that CID officers have still not left the habit of inviting journalists for interrogation when in actual fact the law which had made provision for that had been repealed by President Julius Maada Bio and replaced by the new IMC Act which provides for complainants to report matters to the IMC which is now charged with handling matters involving media practitioners accused by members of the general public.

It is high time the police (CID) in general are educated that they no longer have the authority or power to detain journalists on libel matters because it is no longer a criminal offence. What is expected of them is to direct anyone who reports such cases to report the matter to the IMC as it is the proper authority dealing with such matters.

Meanwhile, the CID is hunting for the Editor of Public Review probably to give him the same treatment and he is currently in hiding.



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