Concord Times (Freetown)

Sierra Leone: Soldiers Beat Up Awoko Reporter

For allegedly taking their picture, a reporter with Awoko Newspaper, Poindexter Sama, yesterday received some slaps from some soldiers who were on their way to douse a protest by over 200 ex-soldiers at the ministry of defence.

Explaining his ordeal to Concord Times, Sama said he was inside his office when he heard some noise on the street and came out to ascertain what was going on. "When I came out, I saw some fully-dressed military personnel heading towards Pademba Road to calm the ex-combatants that were on protest."

He explained that their graphic designer took out his camera and was about to take a shot of the soldiers when his camera was seized and he was seriously manhandled.

"I immediately intervened to save my colleague from further embarrassment. I went to the Ministry of Defence with the graphic designer and I was also manhandled and beaten up. In the process, I even lost one of my phones and several other items," he explained.

Sama added that their editor was not around to put the situation under control which led them to lodge a formal complaint to the defence minister.

"When we reported the matter to Mr. Palo Conteh, he only apologized to us. We are not going to leave it as it is. We have reported the matter at the Criminal Investigative Department CID and a medical paper has been issued out to us to go for treatment at Connaught Hospital," he added.

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