Saoman Conteh

Beats Covered:
Local or Foreign:

Conteh, a journalist with the independent weekly New Tablet, was shot dead while covering a spontaneous demonstration outside the Freetown residence of Revolutionary United Front (RUF) rebel leader Foday Sankoh.

Sankoh’s bodyguards opened fire on a crowd of people who were protesting the RUF’s May 3 abduction of United Nations peacekeepers. The fusillade killed at least 19 people. Conteh, who was shot in the chest and the leg, fell to the ground and was suffocated by the stampede of people fleeing the gunmen. His body remained on the street for more than 24 hours before being taken to Connaught Hospital in Freetown, where doctors pronounced him dead.

A journalist for nearly three decades, Conteh, 48, had been working for the New Tablet since 1999.