Sierra Leone editor charged with defamation for unpublished story

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) calls on Sierra Leone’s authorities to abandon all proceedings against Sallieu Tejan Jalloh, the managing editor of the Freetown newspaper The Times, who has been charged with criminal defamation for an article he has not yet written.

Arrested in Freetown on 11 November while investigating an alleged case of corruption involving a member of the government, Sallieu Tejan Jalloh was held for 24 hours at the Criminal Investigations Department and was then released on bail after being charged with “defamation and seditious libel.”

Jalloh told RSF that he was being prosecuted for refusing to reveal his sources to the police. He also said he was roughed up while in police custody.

“It is totally bizarre to prosecute a journalist with defamation for a story he has not yet published,” said Assane Diagne, the director of RSF’s West Africa office. “We call on the authorities to drop the charges against the managing editor of The Times and to stop harassing him.”

Sierra Leone is ranked 86th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2019 World Press Freedom Index.