October 2, 2022

President Bio has on Wednesday 5th December met members of the country media at a cocktail party at the Radisson Blu in Freetown for the first time since his election as President.

He used the occasion to again given his Government assurance that the Part 5 of the Seditious libel law and also enhancing the capacity of the Independent Media Commission to enforce the IMC Act.

The President told journalists  that he is pleased to inform them that a Cabinet Paper will full concurrence from the Attorney General is now before Cabinet for Consideration.

President told journalist that this was in fulfillment of his party’s manifesto commitment noting that he is aware that part 5 of the Public Order Act criminalizes any publication that is deemed defamatory or seditious and has been used as a regime to unduly target and imprison media practitioners and silence dissent views.

‘’Whilst the 1965 Public Order Act may have been passed to muzzle the press ,yet the wording of the Act clearly puts every justification for its retention may abound ,the overwhelming and preponderant view is that criminalizing libel is no loner fanciful…’’ President Bio noted.

The President further noted that the repeal of the Act does not envisage a void in the accountability matrix relating to freedom of the press and expression, nor would it imply softening the legal regime or grant a carte blanche to journalist to defame people.

He concluded by noting that Journalist who churn irresponsible statements will be held accountable through a testable, verifiable and justifiable civil process of reprimand.