The Sierra Leone Association of Journalists (SLAJ) and Women in the Media Sierra Leone (WIMSAL) have in separate press releases requested that all media houses in the country blacklist or desist from airing any of the songs done by Alhaji Amadu Bah, popularly known as LAJ for having insulted Radio Democracy’s station manager Asmaa James.

In the press release published by SLAJ on the 13th December 2021, it stated that media houses should “ensure that he doesn’t enjoy any favourable coverage until he publicly apologises to Mrs James and her family, and to the journalists and women of this country”. SLAJ’s President Ahmed Sahid Nasralla said: “This is not only an attack on one of our respected and outstanding female journalists but also on our journalism profession and the women of this nation”.

The association also on the same day accompanied James to the Sierra Leone Police Cyber Unit to make a formal complaint in relation to the video that went viral on social media containing obscene words targeting James.

Women in the Media Sierra Leone (WIMSAL) also issued out a press release condemning LAJ’s act.

“According to our investigations, his outburst came after radio Democracy 98.1 aired a news story involving the musician, a professional responsibility of every media institution to inform the public on happenings around the country including court proceedings”, the WIMSAL statement reads.

The WIMSAL release further stated that they viewed the attack as intimidation and “an attempt to silence female journalists and further discourage women from entering into public life”.

Politico reported that, WIMSAL called on all relevant authorities to handle the matter with utmost seriousness as ascribed in the Cybercrime Act. WIMSAL promised to keep the public updated on further developments in relation to the matter.

Responding to the video that went viral, Radio Democracy’s Board of Directors also issued a press release noting that following James’ complaint “she has been receiving threatening phone calls including threats that the radio station will be attacked”.

It emphasized that the “board is fully behind Mrs. James and her staff” in ensuring that they execute their trade professionally without any hindrance.

The board has urged that the law enforcement agencies ensure that James and her staff are fully protected and advised that those involved in threating James should desist from such or “be prepared to face the consequences”.

“I have been overwhelmed” James told Politico, noting that she is still shocked and lost for words.