SLAJ President Intimates CPJ about Safety & Security of Sierra Leonean Journalists

By Amin Kef (Ranger)

President of the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ), Ahmed Sahid Nasralla met with the Africa Section of the Committee for Protection of Journalists (CPJ) at their office in New York City, USA on the 28th April, 2023.

Nasralla updated CPJ on the state of the media and the safety and security of journalists in Serra Leone and requested support in the area of training and resources ahead of Sierra Leone’s June 2023 elections.

The SLAJ President talked about the MoU between SLAJ and the security sector under the umbrella of the Office of National Security (ONS); collaboration between SLAJ and the Media Reform Coordinating Group (MRCG) which led to the development of a national framework/policy on the Safety and Security of Journalists in Sierra Leone and the establishment of a National Coordinating Committee on the Safety and Security of Journalists in Sierra Leone comprising media stakeholders, the security sector, civil society organizations, religious and traditional leaders, and the Judiciary of Sierra Leone.

He also mentioned the recent training of Local Unit Commanders of the Sierra Leone Police and journalists to promote understanding of the work of both the media and security sector as well as collaboration between the two parties.

The team also discussed the Cyber Security and Crime Act 2021 and its potential to undermine freedom of expression and of the press.

The CPJ team represented by the Africa Program Coordinator ,Angela Quintal and the Senior Researcher, Africa Program, Jonathan Rozen stressed the need for accountability measures and commitment from security forces and politicians in light of the forthcoming elections.

They suggested that journalists must prioritize issues of their safety and security and ensure that International Elections Observers capture such incidents in their reports.

The CPJ team extended their appreciation to SLAJ and pledged their continuous support with the required resources that will help to ensure the safety and security of journalists in Sierra Leone at all times, not just during elections.

The meeting climaxed with the presentation of a gift from SLAJ bearing the logo of CPJ done in gara print and expressing warm greetings from the Association.

The SLAJ President was accompanied on the trip from Virginia to New York by a cross-section of the SLAJ Diaspora team in the US, including Santigie Sesay, Alpha Kamara and Abdul Rahman Koroma.


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