Second Sierra Leone Journalist Arrested for Social Media Report

A radio journalist, Theophilus Sahr Gbenda of Culture Radio FM 104.5 has reportedly been detained at the Criminal Investigations Department headquarters in Freetown today.

There is no official reason for his arrest but reports indicate that it is in connection with a report he posted on social media via whattsapp regarding an Ebola story involving a prominent heart surgeon, Dr. Russel.

Dr. Russel is a friend and colleague of Dr. Victor Willoughby who recently died of Ebola in Freetown.

Effort by other journalists to secure Theophilus Gbenda’s release on bail today has so far failed. Gbenda is the presenter of the “burning issues show” on Culture Radio and is considered a controversial figure in the Sierra Leone media.

Another radio journalist, David Tam-Baryoh was recently released after serving 11 days in prison without trial for criticising the government’s handling of the Ebola epidemic on his radio show.

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