BLACK TUESDAY IS A MEDIA BLACKOUT IN SOLIDARITY WITH JOURNALISTS JONATHAN LEIGH AND BAI BAI SESAY WHO HAVE BEEN CHARGED WITH 26 COUNTS OF SEDITIOUS LIBEL AND JAILED IN SIERRALEONE
Date: 28th October 2013
Statement by SLAJ President on Black Tuesday
Dear Colleague Journalists
This is your President Kelvin Lewis speaking on the eve of the solidarity news blackout planned for tomorrow Tuesday 29th October.
I wish to implore all of you that while there will be no newspaper publications and no radio broadcasts nationwide, we will NOT, I repeat we will NOT be demonstrating, nor will there be any procession or any form of open protest, including the use of placards.
I implore those of you who will be going to the court to witness the trial of our jailed colleagues to put up your best behaviour while doing so.
I urge you all to ensure greater respect for police orders. If you are told not to enter the courts, do go quietly to your media house and wait for a briefing from the executive.
I call on all of you to observe this day within the limits of what has been collectively agreed: No newspaper publication, no radio broadcast, no demonstration, no procession and no use of placards.
Meanwhile we are mindful that our pending action has coincided with the increased alertness of the country’s security forces. This is all the reason why all journalists must be courteous in their public utterances and engagement with members of the public and the security forces now and at all times.
Long live SLAJ, long live press freedom, long live journalism.
I thank you for the solidarity!