SLAJ Decries Use of Hate Speech on Social Media

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President of the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ), Ahmed Sahid Nasralla

By Amin Kef Sesay

The Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ), in a Press Release issued on Friday 28 August, 2020 and signed by its Secretary General, Mohamed Asmieu Bah, has stated that it is concerned about the proliferation of videos, audios, and voice notes with incendiary messages on social media which have the potential to divide the nation and cause unrest.

It made it categorically clear that while SLAJ will at all times stand to defend the fundamental human right of all citizens to free speech as an essential element of our democracy, however, “citizen journalists”, political enthusiasts and members of the public who have been abusing social media should know that this right is not absolute.

“Freedom of speech is like a kitchen knife. When you take it out of the kitchen for other purposes like stabbing, then it becomes harmful to the victim and to self,” said President of SLAJ, Ahmed Sahid Nasralla.

According to the release, the Association is calling on all media houses not to allow their platforms to be used as conduits for the dissemination of incendiary messages, fake news and disinformation. It also called on all journalists and other citizens not to share any such messages, if they receive them.

SLAJ is also appealing to the leaderships of all political parties, political activists and citizens in general to condemn and desist from making and spreading expressions in every shape or form that promote hate and division among Sierra Leoneans.

“It’s not just the responsibility of the Government of Sierra Leone to maintain and promote law and order, and peace and stability in the country. It’s equally the responsibility of all political parties, democratic institutions and citizens,” added Nasralla. “The Government must work with the leaderships of all political parties and other stakeholders to look at the root causes of this dangerous trend and make genuine and honest efforts to address them collectively,” he concluded.

1 COMMENT

  1. We are very good at trying to gather spilled milk.

    Since May 2018, some group of Sierra Leoneans in the diaspora have been constantly spewing hate speech, unsavoury and insulting words against certain other groups in Sierra Leone especially person in or associated with the current ruling government. Even though it is never late to do what SLAJ is doing now but imagine how their input in condemning such act could have had.

    Only in Sierra Leone that people admire and hold in celebrity status someone who does not make an audio without insulting the mothers of those in governance or of people from the south and east the country. Now others have decided what these have been teaching and SLAJ all of the sudden have woken up from its slumber.

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