Sierra Leone: Radio Democracy Staff Live in Fear After Threats

The management and staff of Freetown-based Radio Democracy are living in a state of fear after receiving frequent anonymous threats. Radio Democracy has been off air for the past three months after being evicted from their premises by a court order, following their inability to pay their rent which was increased by their landlady from US$2,500 to $10,000 per annum. The Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA)'s correspondent reported that the threats on Radio Democracy started when the station announced that it would resume broadcasting from temporary offices in the premises of another radio station, Sky Radio. The correspondent said Hannah Johnson, the proprietor of Sky Radio, was also threatened. According to Umaru Fofanah, President of the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ), the threats were "a complete attack on press freedom." He added that "SLAJ would do all it can to resist this and other attempts aimed at preventing journalists from performing their role." (source: Catholic Information Service for Africa)