FREETOWN, 1 November 2020 – Sierra Leone’s President Julius Maada Bio is basking in praise after he repealed a 55-year-old libel law that has been used and abused to throw dozens of journalists in prison.
Journalists in the country have lavished praise on the initiative, describing it as “a watershed moment”.
Some journalists have described the day the law was repealed as “Liberation Day”.
Not only where journalists jailed under the law, dozens of them were targeted and punished with pre-trial detention which was allowed under the law only to be cleared of the charges by a court of law.
“You cannot have a vibrant democracy without journalism which is unfettered,” President Bio told reporters after the signing ceremony at State House in the capital, Freetown.