Sierra Leone

Authorities declare nationwide curfew amid deadly protests sparked by the rising cost of living

At least a dozen people were killed during protests that erupted in Freetown and other major cities in Sierra Leone on 10th August 2022. The demonstrations, gathering hundreds of people, were sparked by high inflation, the rising cost of basic goods and the perceived failure of the government to cushion the effects of these rising prices. Read more

Authorities declare nationwide curfew amid deadly protests sparked by the rising cost of living

Dozens of protesters arrested in women's 'Black Monday' protest against high fuel prices and cost of living

n the past few months, several protests have taken place in Sierra Leone over the increasing cost in fuel prices and overall economic hardship in the country.

On 4th July 2022, dozens of protesters were arrested during a women's protest in Freetown, dubbed as the 'Black Monday' protests. According to police, protests also took place in Lungi, Port Loko, Mile 91 and Magburaka. Hundreds of women took to the streets to protest the high cost of living, economic hardship, and economic policies in the country. Prices for fuel and basic goods have increased sharply in Sierra Leone in the past few months as a result of the global crisis, while inflation stood at 17.5 percent in February 2022, creating economic hardships for many citizens. Read more

Dozens of protesters arrested in women's 'Black Monday' protest against high fuel prices and  cost of living

Journalists subjected to intimidation, threats, and physical attacks

According to Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA), the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) and local media, a group of young people physically attacked journalist Alusine Antha in Waterloo, Western Area of Sierra Leone, on 17th February 2022. The journalist, who works for Eagle Africa FM, was reporting on a meeting aimed about settling a land dispute between the local Matale community and retired Assistant Inspector-General of the Police, Christopher John. When Antha arrived at the scene, violent clashes between angry youth and police officers occurred, with community members vandalising John’s car and throwing stones at police officers, forcing them to flee. Read more

Journalists subjected to intimidation, threats, and physical attacks

Cybercrime Bill adopted amid concerns

On 23rd June 2021, Sierra Leone’s Parliament adopted the Cybercrime Bill. Meant to tackle cybercrime and provide security in the digital world, concerns have been raised on certain provisions of the law. Read more

Cybercrime Bill adopted amid concerns

Journalist charged for having shared 'insulting' and 'scurrilous' information via social media

On 4th December 2020, freelance journalist Mahmud Tim Kargbo was summoned to appear before a Freetown magistrate court and was charged, under Section 3 of the Public Order Act, with having shared 'insulting' and 'scurrilous' information via Facebook and WhatsApp which has evoked the 'annoyance' of assistant police inspector Patrick A. T. Johnson. Read more

Journalist charged for having shared 'insulting' and 'scurrilous' information via social media

Ongoing suppression of journalists' and protesters' rights; criminal libel law repealed

Dr. Sylvia Blyden, publisher of Awareness Times newspaper, was arrested on 1st May, 2020 at her home, because of a post on her Facebook page that indicated that former Defense Minister Alfred Paolo Conteh, who was in custody at the Criminal Investigation Department headquarters in Freetown, was being kept in dehumanising conditions. Read more

Ongoing suppression of journalists' and protesters' rights; criminal libel law repealed

Journalist assaulted, detained

On 4th January 2020, a group of men assaulted reporter Foday Conteh, while he was at the house of Musa Bamba Jodey Jalloh, a member of parliament in northern Bendugu village. Read more

Journalist assaulted, detained

Three sports journalists physically assaulted

On 8th September 2019, two female sports journalists, Frances Bernard-Bundor and Esther Maray Samoura, were physically assaulted by individuals identified as bodyguards of President Julius Maada Bio. The journalists, from the Sierra Leone Broadcasting Corporation (SLBC), were covering the FIFA World Cup qualifier match between Sierra Leone and Liberia from the commentary box at the National Stadium when the bodyguards marched in the commentary box, demanding they leave the box as they were disturbing the President. Read more

Three sports journalists physically assaulted

Journalist attacked by supporters of ruling party

As president Julius Maada Bio opened the second session of Sierra Leone's Parliament on 2nd May 2019, supporters of the ruling party - the Sierra Leone People's Party (SLPP) - physically assaulted journalist Amira Tatayea Bangura outside of the Parliament, said the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA). Bangura, a reporter for Sierra Express Media, was covering a protest action of opposition members of parliament, who walked out of the Parliament in protest of what they call SLPP's bad governance. Read more

Journalist attacked by supporters of ruling party

Government poised to decriminalise libel

During a speech at the inaugural Media Cocktail, gathering over 120 journalists, editors and media owners, on 5th December 2018, President Julius Maada Bio said that his government was in 'an advanced stage' in the preparations to repeal part V of the 1965 Public Order Act that criminalises libel. Read more

Government poised to decriminalise libel