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Okelo objects to continued detention of Sierra Leonean journalists

The Special Envoy of the UN Secretary-general for Sierra Leone, Francis Okelo, has complained to the government about the continued detention of three local journalists, the chief UN spokesman said yesterday.

The spokesman, Fred Eckhard, said Okelo complained to the government on the grounds that action against the journalists violated the right to freedom of expression. Winston Ojukutu Macauley and Sylvester Rogers of the BBC were held on 8 December under the emergency powers regulations which places limits on media coverage of the civil war. Sulaiman Momodu, of the Concord Times, was arrested the following day after being interviewed by the BBC on the other arrests.

Eckhard also said that Okelo’s office, the UN Observer Mission in Sierra Leone (UNOMSIL), offered the government help in interpreting the emergency power regulations, which have been in effect since March, “in a manner consistent with the right of freedom of expression”.

This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information:

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