By Abu B. Shaw, London.
The Exiled Journalists Network (EJN), a ground breaking organization set up to help those who have fled to the United Kingdom to escape persecution in various parts of the world because of their media work, has elected a Sierra Leonean journalist as board member.
Sullay Adekulay, a London based journalist, was among eleven other members elected during EJN’s Annual General Meeting held at the University of East London Docklands campus on Saturday March 29, 2008.
Adekulay, who is currently doing his second Masters degree, has joined a host of other Sierra Leoneans who are also board members of the Exiled Journalists Network (EJN). EJN membership is also made up of journalist from many African, Asian and East European countries.
Other Sierra Leonean members of the organization include Dr. Ibrahim Seaga Shaw(EXPO TIMES publisher), Victor Sylver(former BBC correspondent in Freetown), Mohamed Magba Taimeh(former EXPO TIMES sports editor), Sheka Tarawalie(former TORCHLIGHT newspaper publisher, now State House Press Secretary in Freetown) and Abu B. Shaw(Patriotic Vanguard’s London Bureau Chief). Sheka Tarawalie and Ibrahim Seaga Shaw have both resigned from the board. Sheka resigned to take up the Press Secretary job at State House, Sierra Leone, and Seaga probably because of his job as a university lecturer).
EJN was officially launched as an independent organization in October 2005. It was set up with the help of Bristol-based journalism ethics charity The MediaWise Trust. It’s Refugees, Asylum-seekers and Media (RAM) Project had been engaging exiled journalists in the promotion of fair and accurate coverage since 1999. The National Union of Journalist (UK and Ireland) also supports EJN.
During the meeting, EJN chairman Mr. Mohammed Elsharif was endorsed to run another year. Also present was Mr. Mike Jempson, the pioneer and founder of this refugee project and organization. Mr. Jempson is presently EJN treasurer.
The EJN Co-ordinator Forwood Maisokwadzo urged all members to work together. He also reminded all refugees to become members of EJN. The EJN is the first of its kind anywhere in the world, and aims to promote press freedom as well as assisting asylum seeking and refugee journalists.
Photos, top to bottom: Sullay Adekulay, EJN group photo, third from left is Mohammed Elshariff in suit; the two brothers, Seaga Shaw(left) and Abu Shaw.