Sunday August 7, 2005
Tamba Borbor reports from Freetown
Lawyer J.B. Jenkins-Johnston has on the request of the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ) written to the Attorney General and Justice Minister requesting an inquest into Harry Yansaneh’s death. His letter states, “our instruction are to request as a matter of extreme urgency and inorder to preserve and uphold the rule of law in our country, that a Coroner’s inquest be convened in accordance with Section 7 of the Coroner’s Act Cap 9 of the Laws of Sierra Leone.”
The Act states Lawyer Jenkins-Johnston’s letter went on: “it shall be the duty of every Coroner to hold an inquest or an enquiry according as this Act, on the body of any deceased person within his district, whenever there is reason to suspect that the deceased person died from violence or unfair means or by culpable or neglect conduct either of himself or others and also whenever any death shall have occurred under circumstances appearing to the Coroner to require investigation.” “.The facts and evidence made known to us, we are under no doubt that the circumstances of the late Harry Yansaneh’s death are such that do warrant an urgent and transparent inquiry by the coroner,” he went on to state.
At the time of this sad incident, Lawyer Jenkins-Johnston further pointed out to the Attorney General “our clients through several newspapers and the electronic media called the Police to investigate the incident urgently, thoroughly and transparently, but it is a matter of extreme regret that the Police do not seem to have done anything even to apprehend any suspect for the assault on the poor and unfortunate
Harry Yansaneh until his untimely demise on the 28th July 2005.” Meanwhile, members of the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ) at an emergency meeting have endorsed the position taken by the Sierra Leone Reporters Union, to impose with immediate effect, a news blackout on the Sierra Leone Police Force, the House of Parliament and the Office of the Vice President, who is Chairman of the Police Council. They further demanded the immediate extradition of all those involved in the assault who have fled the country.