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Page added on December 13, 2010
Freetown – Four journalists working for independent newspapers in Freetown have been arrested by police on the orders of the newly appointed Minister of Lands, Allieu Pat Sowe.
The four are Abdul Rahman Kamara of Torchlight, Razrok Wurie of Satellite, Sheik Unisa Thoronka of Global Times and Alfred Koroma of African Champion.
The journalists were investigating an apparent fraud as contained in an audit report of funds provided to the Lands Ministry by the Investment Climate Facility.
Three of the journalists have been “temporarily” released while Abdul Rahman Kamara is still being held at the Criminal Investigations Department in Freetown where he is making a statement.
The journalists say while investigating the matter at the Lands Ministry this morning, the new minister entered one of the offices on a familiarisation tour and asked what the journalists were doing there. They told him they were investigating a story but he said he was not satisfied with them because they had certain documents on them. The documents were NOT classified. The minister later called the Inspector General of Police for the journalists to be arrested.
“SLAJ categorically condemns this act of a minister ordering the arrest of journalists who are investigating an issue of national importance and public interest”, says SLAJ President Umaru Fofana who has visited the CID headquarters. He urges the police not to undermine the investigation by the journalists into the apparent disappearance of tens of thousands of US dollars of the ICF funds to the lands ministry as contained in said audit report.
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