In Sierra Leone, a charge of “seditious libel” has recently proved to be a highly effective way for the government to smother dissent. Three months ago, it claimed the liberty of one of the country’s most determined and distinguished campaigners for free speech, the founding editor of the For Di People newspaper, Paul Kamara.
Citing an article written in 2003 in which Kamara had criticised President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah, the court handed down two sentences him of two years’ imprisonment, to be run concurrently.
Kamara has worked openly and courageously for democracy in Sierra Leone for several years, is Chairman of the National League for Human Rights and has been voted International Editor of the Year by the American World Press Review. English PEN has joined other international human rights groups in condemning acts of judicial harassment by the Sierra Leonean government against Paul Kamara and are campaigning urgently for his release.
Please send appeals to:
His Excellency Ahmed Tejan Kabbah
Office of the President
15 Siaka Stevens Street
Fax: +232 22 225615
Originally posted with the url: www.englishpen.org/writersinprison/prisoners/paulkamara/