October 7, 2004 – Updated on January 20, 2016 Court gives editor four years in prison for libelling president News April 6, 2020 Find out more November 27, 2020 Find out more Receive email alerts RSF_en Coronavirus infects press freedom in Africa Covid-19 in Africa: RSF joins a coalition of civil society organizations to demand the release of imprisoned journalists on the continent Reporters Without Borders strongly condemned the Sierra Leone high court’s decision to sentence Paul Kamara, the founder and editor of the daily For Di People, to a total of four years in prison for “seditiously” libelling President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah. Kamara was convicted under the Public Order Act of 1965, the repeal of which has been repeatedly but unsuccessfully requested by the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ). to go further Help by sharing this information Reporters Without Borders today strongly condemned the Sierra Leone high court’s decision on 5 October to sentence Paul Kamara (photo), the founder and editor of the daily For Di People, to a total of four years in prison for “seditiously” libelling President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah.”The victim of unceasing harassment by the judicial apparatus, Paul Kamara must be freed immediately”, the organisation said. “This heavy sentence at the end of a trial full of legal quibbling looks more like a harsh punishment for a dissident voice than a fair decision aimed at keeping the peace.”Reporters Without Borders said the Kabbah government had ignored calls from Sierra Leone’s journalists to repeal the law which it uses to crack down on its press critics and which enabled the court to impose such a heavy prison sentence on Kamara.Noting that the tasks assigned to the local UN mission, UNAMSIL, under Security Council resolution 1562 include monitoring and promoting respect for human rights, the organisation called on the mission to encourage the government to “decriminalise press offences, as other countries in Africa have done”.The Freetown high court No. 2, presided over by Justice Bankole Rashid, sentenced Kamara to two 24-month prison terms to run concurrently. The manager of John Love Printers, Brima Sesay, was sentenced to two six-month prison terms to run concurrently, or a fine of 10,000 leones (about 5 euros). The owner of the printers, Lovette Charles, and its administrator, Joseph Charles, were acquitted. Kamara was taken from court to Freetown prison.The offending article appeared in the 3 October 2003 issue of For di People. Headlined “Speaker of Parliament challenge! Kabbah is a true convict !”, it reported that a commission of enquiry had in 1968 found Kabbah – then finance minister – guilty of fraud. It also said it was unconstitutional of the parliamentary speaker to maintain that Kabbah enjoys immunity from prosecution as president.Kamara has had repeated run-ins with the authorities. He was convicted under the Public Order Act of 1965, the repeal of which has been repeatedly but unsuccessfully requested by the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ). It provides for prison sentences for libel and establishes that printers and vendors of can be prosecuted for the “crime” as well as journalists. Reports March 29, 2020 Find out more Sierra LeoneAfrica Organisation Follow the news on Sierra Leone News Sierra LeoneAfrica News The 2020 pandemic has challenged press freedom in Africa
The process of recruiting more women has been underway systematically since the early 1990s, when the Army School of Administration (EsAEx) accepted the first 49 women who passed a competitive exam. In 2002, the Medical Sergeants’ Course opened its doors to women. This year’s course included 62 female graduates. They share their barracks with the six future Musician Sergeants. “Being a part of this class is a major responsibility. We’re opening new paths for women in the Armed Forces,” said flautist Joyce Souza, 26, of Rio de Janeiro. Souza has classical training, acquired through four years of studying sacred and classical music at the Baptist Theological Seminary of Southern Brazil, in Rio. Now that she has reached her goal, she is setting her sights even higher. “I want to join the Army’s Symphonic Orchestra, in São Paulo,” she said. For her part, saxophonist Bianca Christina Cardoso Santos wants to lead an army band. To achieve this goal, she must reach the rank of Lieutenant. Men and women who enter the army through the Sergeants’ School can attain the rank of Captain, which is also a goal for Santos. “I want to be a conductor, so I know I need to improve as a musician and climb the ranks,” said Santos, 26, who studied at the Mercês Convent School of Music, in São Luís, Maranhão. Music and military service are in the blood of Carolyne Gonze, a 22-year-old Minas Gerais native. The saxophonist is the granddaughter of a conductor and niece of a Musician Sergeant in the Brazilian Army. Until recently, Gonze had been able to pursue only her musical passions. But late last year, an opportunity opened up that enabled her to unite her two vocations. For the first time, the Brazilian Army was allowing women to enroll in its competitive exam for Musician Sergeants. Acceptance into the program is not easy: 1,818 men and 169 women between the ages of 18 and 26 applied for 56 openings. Gonze was one of six women admitted to the School for Musical Sergeants. In April, they began the course at the Deodoro Military Village, in Rio de Janeiro’s West Zone. “I came in search of personal fulfillment. I achieved my dream of joining the Armed Forces without the need to give up music,” Gonze said. This daughter of civil police officers already is setting an example for her younger brothers, 18-year-old twins who will take the same competitive exam next year. The Musician Sergeants’ Course is another step in the ongoing process of opening the Brazilian Army to women. Only 5,464 out of the army’s 198,000 soldiers are women, which breaks down to nearly 3%. By Dialogo September 02, 2014 The future musician sergeants begin their days with reveille at 6 a.m. During the day, they attend lectures and engage in a demanding exercise regimen. Curfew is at 10 p.m. In their first year of training, with the 1st Anti-Aircraft Artillery Group, the focus is on military training. It is only during the second year of the course, in the Logistics Sergeants’ School, that the dedication to music becomes more prominent. “The pride that my family is feeling gives me strength to overcome this challenge,” said Stefani de Freitas Dagostim, 23, who plays the euphonium and was a conductor and teacher with the Lauro Müller municipal band in Santa Catarina. Other doors in the Brazilian Army will open soon for women. Law No. 12.705, passed in August 2012, states that women also may begin receiving combat training starting in 2016. Signed into law by Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff, the law gives the army up to five years to prepare for the integration of women into the Army Preparatory School (EsPCEx), the officer training school at the Agulhas Negras Military Academy (AMAN) and the School for Combat Sergeants (ESA). “A study is being carried out on the integration of women into the combat segment. We will have the first class in two years,” said Maj. Renato Libânio, the chief basic training instructor for sergeants in the 1st Anti-Aircraft Artillery Group. Worthless! The women deserve it. They are wonderful in everything they do. Very good. I liked it. That’s it, girls. It’s supposed to shut up the men because they know that we women are capable of doing all the same things that they can, and even better most of the time. Top marks for these girls. This is wonderful. Music is health. It’s life. Congratulations. It’s very important to know that women today can do all the things that were forbidden in the past, and today, they are appreciated and have the same rights as men. Courageous women warriors! Congratulations! Keep it up. We appreciate it. Sexism is still rife in the military, and the uniform is incompatible in regards to the subject above. At least the sensibility hasn’t been lost. Stop being a feminist. Today, I am happy to know that a good friend named Bianca Cardoso, saxophonist, is on her path and making her dream come true. I have had the pleasure of getting to know her and living with her for a little bit, but that short period was enough to describe her as a good person. Keep going and never give up. How can I register for the course? What grade do you have to be in to join the course? Every year, the Combat Arms Sergeant School (ESA) releases a public notice where you can find all the information relevant to the registration process. Good luck. Congratulations girls! Try to fully understand the importance of the specialty as it relates to training a military mind. Study and continue learning more about both techniques and musical knowledge, and never get discouraged because like everything else in life, there will be both good and difficult moments in your career. Congratulations to the Brazilian Army (a real strong arm and helping hand).