Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone

Free not to make waves

Sierra Leone’s media are pluralist and independent. Community radio stations, which reach a significant part of the population, broadcast without restriction. Nonetheless, under a 1965 public order law, anyone involved in a “seditious libel” case can be sentenced to up to seven years in prison. During the 2014-2016 state of emergency resulting from the Ebola epidemic, the threat of defamation charges was widely used to gag the media, forcing journalists to censor themselves, or in some cases even go into hiding. The editors of three leading newspapers were taken to court in September 2017 on charges of seditious and criminal libel. When President Koroma took office in 2007, he promised to amend the sedition libel law but nothing was done. Will his successor elected in March 2018 respond to the calls from journalists and media associations for this law to be overhauled?

85
in the 2017 World Press Freedom Index

Ranking

-2

83 in 2016

Global score

+0.79

29.94 in 2016

  • 0
    journalists killed in 2018
  • 0
    citizens journalists killed in 2018
  • 0
    media assistants killed in 2018
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