Sierra Leone Telegraph: 14 December 2021:
A TV camera operator working for Sierra Leone’s independent AYV media was attacked by at least eight police officers at their headquarters in Freetown yesterday, when he tried to investigate an outbreak of violence in the east of the city, after a serious accident involving a police vehicle.
This report of police brutality against a journalist comes in the wake of increasing concern about the abuse of power by the police and the office of the Attorney General against opposition politicians in the country.
A statement issued by AYV last night reads: “AYV reports with concern an alleged attack by members of the Sierra Leone Police (SLP) – Central Police Division, on one of our staff.
“The staff — a camera operator — had filmed an accident involving an SLP motorcycle in pursuit of a commercial bike (Okada) at Fort Street – Freetown, in which a child was injured.
“Upon arrival at the Central Police Station to get the other side of the story from the police, our staff was physically assaulted by police officers at the station and detained in a police cell.
“AYV is disappointed and condemns any attack of its own and any journalist or media practitioner.
“Under no circumstance in a democratic dispensation must a body; whether individual, corporate, or state, shrug off the rule of law and employ violence to seek redress to a problem.
“This behaviour by members of the SLP was an attack on the rights and freedoms guaranteed under the 1991 Constitution of Sierra Leone.
“We call on the leadership of the Sierra Leone Police to bring the officers involved to book to demonstrate the force’s abhorrence and condemnation of such barbarous act.”
You can watch the AYV reporter speaking about his ordeal here:
In my personal opinion, I believe that prompt investigation should be taken to address this serious allegation from this AVY journalist, which is one of the most credible media in our country and Africa.