YANKS DEPORT SIERRA LEONE JOURNALIST
Friday July 2, 2004
Sierra Leonean-born journalist, Paul Barrow , has been deported from the United States of America. Mr.Barrow was placed in a British Airways plane on Saturday and sent back to Sierra Leone after his legal appeal for a stay of deportation failed.
Barrow since February 9 had been detained at the Hudson County Correctional Facility in South Kearny, New Jersey , after he was arrested at home in Smerset, New Jersey, by U.S. Immigration officers for allegedly failing to appear before an immigration judge to contest deportation for living illegally in the country.Barrow complained that he did not receive the immigration letters to the effect.
Barrow has an American wife and a 4-year old daughter , with whom he lived in Franklin Township . He told Immigration officials that he fled Sierra Leone to avoid being killed by the Sierra Leone authorities for initially supporting the Revolutionary United Front (RUF), a rebel army that spearheaded an 11 year-old bloody war in Sierra Leone that killed 50, 000 people and maimed thousands more. Barrow said his father, mother and brother were later massacred by the RUF.
Before his saga, Barrow stated that he worked for the now-defunct GLOBE newspaper, edited then by former FBC English lecturer, Mr. Saaba Sam Tumoe , who died about four years ago.
His deportation had saddened many people who described him as a quiet and peaceful man. Community Activist, member of the Franklin Board and CEO of the AAA Delivery Services in Franklin , Mr. Alex Mansaray told COCORIOKO that he made desperate attempts to save Barrow, but he complained that some evil-minded Sierra Leoneans used to call the Immigration to contradict Barrow’s story and pass on incriminating information.
Barrow’s lawyer, Mr. Mariusz Dragan of New York, admitted that it was sad sending Barrow away , but “It is the law”, he asserted. “It is the practice.”