On May 1, police arrested Blyden, publisher of the Awareness Times newspaper, at her home in Freetown for alleged "cyber-related" offenses, according to Messeh Leone, a legal activist familiar with the case, who spoke to CPJ via messaging app and phone, and a June 4 police statement, which CPJ reviewed.
READ: Opposition Member Dr Sylvia Blyden Detained Again
On May 22, authorities charged Blyden with sedition, defamation, and "perversion of justice" over her social media posts, according to Leone and a copy of the charge sheet, reviewed by CPJ.
Authorities granted Blyden bail on May 28 and released her on May 29, but then arrested her again on June 3, when she appeared for a hearing at a Freetown magistrate court, allegedly for violating bail conditions that prohibited her from speaking publicly about her case, according to Leone and a report by The Sierra Leone Telegraph, a local news website.
A spokesperson for the Sierra Leone police, Brimma Kamara, told CPJ via messaging app that the police had not initiated Blyden's arrest on June 3, and said it was "probably" because Blyden breached her bail conditions.
On May 3, police also arrested Hussain Muckson Sesay, a local activist, after he allegedly photographed the police facility where Blyden was being held, and shared those images on social media; authorities charged him with perversion of justice on May 22, at the same hearing as Blyden, according to Leone and Blyden's charge sheet.