Sierra Leone Telegraph: 20 August 2023:
Radio presenter – Musa Kamara who interviewed American Ambassador to Sierra Leone – David Reimer, about the curent post-election crisis in the country, has received death threats following that interview. In the radio broadcast, the Ambassador criticised President Bio’s approach to dealing with the crisis.
Kamara’s interview with Ambassador Reimer which was leaked last Wednesday, went viral on social media. In the interview, Reimer said that the position of the United States government is that the 24 June election results lack credibility, and called for an external investigator to lead a review of the elections.
Reimer also said that the US government has refused to congratulate President Bio since he was sworn-in as President to rule the country for a second term, and that development funds for Sierra Leone will be put on hold until the post elections fallout between the ruling SLPP and the main opposition APC has been resolved through peaceful dialogue.
Radio Democracy, Musa Kamara said: “It has been dramatic in the last 24 hours since that my interview with the outgoing US Ambassador to Sierra Leone, David Reimer,” and that he has received several threatening remarks on social media and personal text messages.
Radio Democracy 98.1 was taken off the air last Wednesday by the government, shortly before the pre-recorded interview with US Ambassador Reimer was due to be broadcast which prompted the leaking of the recording by unknown persons.
“The United States is concerned about irregularities in the results that were announced by the ECSL — that includes a big difference between the ECSL announced results and the parallel vote tabulation, as well as inconsistencies that were analysed by domestic and international observers,” Reimer said in the interview.
“All of these things raise questions in our mind… about the integrity of the official results.”
International observers had noted “statistical inconsistencies” and condemned a “lack of transparency” in the ballot count.
Sarah Van Horne, a US embassy public affairs officer, confirmed to AFP that the interview had been recorded on Tuesday to be broadcast on Wednesday, but that it was not aired until the following day – Thursday.
Meanwhile, Radio Democracy, Musa Kamara who is being threatened with death and is in fear told Sierraloaded: “Going forward I feel scared to do the job I love.”
Whiles the death sentence for committing an offence against the State – such as treason, may have been banned in Sierra Leone, mob justice perpetuated, encouraged, aided and supported by the government has become far too common.
Since his election to the presidency in 2018, President Julius Maada Bio as commander -in-chief of the security forces, has presided over the extra-judicial killing of hundreds of unarmed civilians in cold blood.
As one of the military leaders of the junta that led the bloody overthrow of the APC government of Joseph Saidu Momoh in 1992, President Bio has been held culpable for the brutal killing of dozens of people in the aftermath of his military takeover, including the execution of popular journalist Salami Coker.
Musa Kamara said that the threats he as received since his interveiw with the American Ambassador went viral last Wednesday, are a cause for concern. He has notified the radio station’s management and the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ).