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24th June 2018

Information Minister Receives 'Draconian Libel Law' Draft from SLAJ President!

By Claudius Beckley (23/05/18)

The Sierra Leone Association of Journalists SLAJ's infamous Criminal Libel Law draft has been handed over to the new Information Minister.


President of SLAJ Mr. Kelvin Lewis who presented the draft to the Minister of Information Mr. Mohamed Swarray said SLAJ has held many discussions with other stakeholders to see how best this draconian criminal libel law could be reviewed and if possible abrogated for the benefit of press freedom in Sierra Leone. (Photo: Information Minister Mohamed Swarray, left, with SLAJ President Kelvin Lewis).

Mr. Kelvin Lewis noted that the primary motive for handing over the draft to Minister Swarray for further discussion is to find ways and means to repeal Part 5 of the 1965 Criminal Act in the Sierra Leone Constitution which has hindered press freedom in the country over the years.

"We are also delighted that the SLPP government of President Julius Maada Bio has included press freedom in their manifesto during the past elections and hopefully the government look in to the 1965 Libel Law and amend it so as to allow journalists to do their duties without fear of being arrested," SLAJ President Lewis added.

Mr. Kelvin Lewis also stressed that President Bio even highlighted this issue during his first parliamentary address recently. The SLAJ President also used the opportunity to congratutlate the new Minister on his appointment on behalf of SLAJ and wished Minister Swarray well in the Information Ministry.

Receiving the draft, the Information Minister Swarray assured SLAJ that under his administration, he will try his best to make sure SLAJ realised its dream in that direction. Minister Swarray finally called on all media houses to work together in the interest of development in Sierra Leone.


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