They have killed Harry Yansaneh : They are going to kill us all





Friday July 29, 2005


The sad death of the FOR DI PEOPLE Editor Harry Yansaneh who received a merciless beating from thugs allegedly belonging to the SLPP MP, Mrs. Fatmata Hassan, is a warning to all radical and truth-speaking journalists : You are not safe in the hands of these thuggish politicians whose concept of politics is MIGHT IS RIGHT.

Sierra Leone’s reputation as one of the most dangerous places to practice journalism has been confirmed by the brutal treatment meted out to this poor and innocent young man .According to reports, Mrs. Hassan who owns the Short Street building regarded as the Sierra Leonean Fleet Street, for it is home to many local newspapers, led thugs to the building and it was these crude beasts  who beat up the Editor, leaving him all swollen up and ailing until he passed away on Wednesday due to complications from his injuries.

Whatever the reason for this fatal beating , whether it was for ejectment purposes or personal reasons, it was unjustified. We do not live in  a jungle. We live in a CIVILIZED world. We do not solve issues by beating people or burning their houses. We solve problems through legal recourse.

But Sierra Leone will forever remain a jungle, with its jungle methods of conducting politics, as long as it is the Fatmata Hassans who control the destiny of our nation.  Sierra Leone will always remain a jungle as long as law enforcement is zero. And this is one of the reasons why we have been deemed the most backward nation in the world. Our politicians from the top to the bottom do not believe in the Rule of Law. Just have a fracas with anyone of them and the recourse is to hire thugs to do you in. It is a disgrace to every Sierra Leonean. And if the parliamentarians who make the laws do not respect and obey them, what do you expect from the man in the street ?

From the look of things, many journalist will go the way of Harry Yansaneh. As Sierra Leoneans become more politically conscious and determined to have a say in the affairs of their nation, more radical , non-sycophantic journalists will emerge. They will tell it as it is. They will point out the evils of the government.  At the same time, because we are not serious about uprooting the tree of impunity, our politicians will wax worse.  They will continue to believe only in the Law of the Jungle. When these two forces clash, it is the journalists who will suffer because the politicians have more resources and power to retaliate like animals .

The killing of Yansaneh is very, very sad but it is  a continuation of the trend in Sierra Leone to murder journalists.  The killing of Yansaneh is  very, very pathetic but  it is just a foretaste of things to come.

The politicians are going to kill us all.

They are going to kill us all because we  will not relent to speak the truth. And for the truth we are ready to die.

May God  grant our collegue and brother eternal rest.

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