Sierra Leone: Ahead of 74th  UNGA… President Bio Ready to Repeal Criminal Libel Law

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President Julius Maada Bio

The President Bio-led Sierra Leone people’s Government of Sierra Leone is on course to repeal the 1965 criminal libel law, according to the Minister of Information and Communication.

The repeal is expected to come ahead of the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly which will open on 17th September 2019.

The Minister was speaking at the Information Ministry’s 8th floor conference room at Youyi Building in Freetown whilst answering to questions about progress made on the repeal process.

According to Mohamed Rahman Swarray, he would wish to put an embargo on further discussions about the Criminal Libel Law and look forward to the time when he would inform the public that true to his Excellency’s prior commitment to repeal the Criminal Libel Laws, it has finally been done.

“I only wanted to talk to you about it that; look ladies and gentlemen, it is my greatest pleasure to inform you that true to His Excellency’s prior commitment to repeal the Criminal Libel Laws we have finally done it.”

He further noted that the repeal process is firmly on course and he is confident that one of the key messages in the president’s presentation to the UN general assembly after the repeal would be that sierra Leone has joined the greater committee of nations in terms of media freedom plurality and creating an enabling environment for the media to practice

“The repeal process is firmly on course and I am confident that one of the key messages in his Excellency’s report card to the un general assembly this year is that the criminal libel law has been repealed and sierra Leone has joined the greater committee of nations in terms of media freedom plurality and creating more enabling environment for the media to thrive and practice”

He however encouraged media practitioners to do their work professionally, pointing out that media professionals have a responsibility to do what is right.

The minister further pledged government’s willingness to work with the new SLAJ executive and other salient stakeholders to ensure the media landscape is changed for the better.

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