Harry Yansaneh

Beats Covered:
Local or Foreign:

A judicial inquest found that a May attack on Yansaneh, acting editor of the daily For Di People,
contributed to his death from kidney failure more than two months
later. Yansaneh had accused Member of Parliament Fatmata Hassan of
ordering the May 10 attack, which she denied.

The extent
of Yansaneh’s injuries was not clear at the time of the attack, and he
was not hospitalized. The inquest found that Yansaneh’s death was
“accelerated by the beating” and called it a case of involuntary

A magistrate ordered the arrest of Hassan, three of her children, and
two other men for suspected manslaughter. Hassan, an MP for the ruling
Sierra Leone People’s Party, Olu Campbell, and Reginald Bull were
detained on August 26. All three were released on bail on August 30.
Police said they planned to seek the extradition of Hassan’s two sons
and a daughter from the United Kingdom.

Prior to the attack, Hassan had sought to evict For Di People and five other independent newspapers from the offices they had rented from her late husband for many years. For Di People‘s offices were also vandalized.

Yansaneh had taken over as senior editor following the imprisonment of For Di People‘s
editor and publisher, Paul Kamara, in October 2004. Kamara was
convicted of “seditious libel” and sentenced to two years in jail for
articles that criticized President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah.

The government ordered the inquest following strong local and international pressure.