Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone

Free not to make waves

Sierra Leone’s media are pluralist and independent, and community radio stations, which reach a significant part of the population, broadcast without restriction. Julius Maada Bio, who has been president since April 2018, has promised to repeal provisions in a 1965 public order law for sentences of up to seven years in prison for “seditious libel.” During the 2014-16 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. A journalist with the Freetown-based Times newspaper was detained on a libel charge for 24 hours in November 2019 in connection with a story that had not yet been published. The new president’s good intentions need to be translated quickly into concrete measures, including measures for the protection of journalists, who have often been attacked by the police or by political activists, especially during the presidential election in March 2018, when the Internet was disconnected.


85
in the 2020 World Press Freedom Index

Ranking

+1

86 in 2019

Global score

-0.08

30.36 in 2019

  • 0
    journalists killed in 2020
  • 0
    citizens journalists killed in 2020
  • 0
    media assistants killed in 2020
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