24 July 2014

Sierra Leone: Music Producer Attacked, Threatened for Songs On Corruption and Tribalism

Photo: LAJ D BOSS -R.F.M/Facebook
Amadu B Bah, aka LAJ.

press release

Joseph Richard Abdulai one of Sierra Leone's leading music producers was on July 19, 2014, attacked by three unknown individuals while walking along the Lumley beach in the capital Freetown.

Abdulai who is popularly known as Sound Boy Riche was previously attacked by some unknown men numbering about seven on July 10. The music producer, who is visually impaired, sustained injuries during the attack.

The MFWA's correspondent in the country reported that these recent attacks on the music producer are in connection with an album United Sierra Leone he produced which features songs by some musicians in the country on mineral exploitation, corruption and tribalism.

Abdulai told the correspondent he received a phone-call from an anonymous caller who threatened to kill him and two musicians Emmerson Bockarie and Amadu B Bah popularly known as LAJ, for their songs on the album.

"I was attacked and asked to deliver a message to LAJ, Emmerson and other artists, not to attempt to launch the album, otherwise they will be killed. The attackers have plans to use stones to disrupt the event. They even boasted about the stones thrown at LAJ during his recent performance in Sierra Leone ", Abdulai told the correspondent.

The MFWA condemns the attack on Abdulai and subsequent threats to him and some musicians. Artistic freedom is necessary in promoting different cultures and democracy. It is a means of sharing and imparting information and knowledge.

The Sierra Leonean Constitution guarantees that "... except with his own consent, no person shall be hindered in the enjoyment of his freedom of expression, and for the purpose of this section the said freedom includes the freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart ideas and information without interference... "

We call on the authorities in the country to investigate the matter and bring the perpetrators of this violation to book and also ensure the citizens who express themselves through the media/arts etc are protected. We also urge the citizenry to respect their country's constitutional provision and be tolerant of divergent views.

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