On April 1, in Sierra Leone’s eastern Kenema city, a group of at least 10 soldiers attacked Fayia, a reporter with the Standard Times newspaper, hitting him with their guns and kicking him, according to the journalist, who spoke to CPJ in a phone interview, and a statement by the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists, a local press freedom group. Fayia told CPJ that the soldiers attacked him and seized his phone after he photographed a new COVID-19 quarantine center. The soldiers then arrested him and alleged that he had assaulted a soldier and District Head Mohammed O. Level Sesay, a local official who was at the scene, Fayia said. After the attack, a local court charged Fayia with assault, disorderly behavior, and obstruction of security duties, he said. If convicted, he could face up to three months in prison and a fine of 80 Leones ($0.0082), according to Sierra Leone’s Public Order Act.
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