The Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ) has presented a Golden Jubilee Recognition Award to the Embassy of the Republic of Ireland in Sierra Leone for their continuous support towards freedom of expression and the empowerment of women and girls in the small West African country.
The award was announced at the SLAJ Annual General Meeting in Bo City in June 2021 as part of celebrations marking the Association’s 50 years of existence but was officially presented to the Embassy on Monday 13th December 2021.
According to the SLAJ President, Ahmed Sahid Nasralla, SLAJ recognises, appreciates, and is grateful for the role played by the Irish Embassy (and other International partners) towards the repeal of Part Five of the 1965 Public Order Act that criminalises libel and free speech.
“We worked a great deal with the outgone Second Secretary of the Embassy of Ireland in Sierra Leone Daire Courtney to achieve the repeal. So we share this historic victory with the Embassy,” said Nasralla while presenting the SLAJ Golden Jubilee Recognition Award to the new Irish Ambassador Claire Buckley and her team.
The SLAJ President called on the Embassy to see how best they could collaborate with SLAJ and its affiliate bodies, especially Women In The Media (WIMSAL), towards building a strong and independent media in the country and also support training relating to women empowerment in the media and generally.
He assured the Irish Embassy that SLAJ would continue to hold the government accountable on issues of national interest and the rule of law, particularly those relating to freedom of expression and human rights across the country.
Meanwhile, Ambassador Buckley expressed appreciation to SLAJ for recognising their work over the years, disclosing that they have supported and would continue to support initiatives toward the protection of human rights, especially in the area of freedom of expression, and more women representation in governance.
Credit: SLAJ Secretariat