Police in Sierra Leone have arrested a newspaper editor and another journalist for publishing an article comparing President Ernest Bai Koroma to a rat, officials said on Monday.
Jonathan Leigh, who edits the Independent Observer newspaper, was detained with another member of staff on Thursday last week after he wrote the editorial alleging friction between Koroma and his vice-president Sam Sumana.
The article said Koroma, a former insurance executive elected in 2007, was behaving like a rat.
Ibrahim Koroma, head of Sierra Leone’s Criminal Investigations Department, said Leigh had breached the Public Order Act of 1965 by committing seditious libel. Leigh has not yet been officially charged.
“He is bringing the name of President Koroma and the whole cabinet into disrepute,” said Koroma of the investigation department, who is not related to the president.
A spokesman for president Koroma said the leader had filed a complaint “like any aggrieved citizen”.