“In November, the musician posted he was threatened in jail by an ex-combatant and a ruling party loyalist with a gun”
By Alpha Kamara in Washington DC
Sierra Leone Rap musician Amadu Bah also called Boss LAJ has spent over 200 days in jail for voicing his opinions on critical issues, according to his lawyers. The rap musician and social critic was arrested on June 12, 2022, for alleged ‘robbery with violence’ at a gas station in Freetown. Since then, the musician has been put behind bars for the past seven months.
The lawyers of the musician said the charges are fabricated and inconsistent just as the court hearings and its procedures.
LAJ’s dreadlocks were shaved in jail by the Sierra Leone police, a move his lawyers described as inhuman and degrading. The lawyers also alleged the musician was tortured and has been intimidated in jail by ruling SLPP party supporters several times.
In November, the musician posted that he was threatened with a pistol by an ex-combatant and a ruling party loyalist called Major Biyai. He said the combatant warned him to stop singing against government and especially President Bio and his wife Fatima Bio. In the post he also alleged that the ex-combatant was also extorting money from him, and as a result (he LAJ), decided to go public.
Meanwhile, some Sierra Leone music lovers have also been crying down the music industry for not showing solidarity with their colleague who has been locked up for seven months now. “LAJ is a musician. His first line of support should be the musician’s association after his family. But where are they? a fan asked on Facebook.
On New Year’s Eve, Boss LAJ gave words of courage to his fans through a Facebook post. The musician spent most of the 2022 holidays in jail including Christmas and New Year, 2023. His post reads:
“The Red Flag Movement wants to express its profound gratitude to its numerous fans across the world for their relentless support throughout the year. We are proud to say we have the most loyal fan base. RFM music is proud to say come 2023 there are a lot of goodies it has in store for all good music lovers as the movement wishes you all a happy New Year,”
As LAJ gives his fans words of courage, some are unsure about when he will finally be freed because they believe his continuous detention has something to do with his social commentary on the current situation as the country expects an election that is bound to be very interesting and dramatic. Boss LAJ is one of the most popular musicians in Sierra Leone. Here is one of the songs of Boss LAJ called amen. Enjoy.
About the writer: Alpha Kamara is a Sierra Leone born Journalist, Public Affairs and Communications Professional based in Washington DC. He has a bachelors and a masters degree in Communications and Media from Sierra Leone and New York University, USA. For more about his work click on: https://muckrack.com/alpha-kamara