Three former Executives of the Press Union of Liberia (PUL) say they are troubled by the bold attempt of the Government of Liberia to effectively silence dissenting voices in the country.
In a press statement issued on Tuesday, January 19, 2020 from the U.S.A. Messers Gabriel Williams, Isaac Bantu and Emmanuel Abalo questioned the legal posture of the Government of Liberia through the Ministry of Information to openly threaten to revoke the operating license of a local media institution known as D-15 which is arranging to carry regular broadcasts of Mr. Henry P. Costa.
The Government argues that its unwarranted threat stems from the fact that, “Costa, as a fugitive from Liberia justice cannot host radio programs meant to communicate to Liberia audience while the United States…”
The former Liberian media Executives heavily criticized the Government of Liberia over its attempt at gross Constitutional violation. Article (15 (a) clearly states that, “Every person shall have the right to freedom of expression, being fully responsible for the abuse thereof. This right shall not be curtailed, restricted or enjoined by government save during an emergency declared in accordance with this Constitution…”
“The Government has not declared any emergency which would warrant triggering such an abusive and extrajudicial action against free expression and it appears the Government does not intend to accord any due process as is required in this matter. We urge the Liberian Administration to respect the supreme law of the land, recommit to the scrupulous adherence to the rule of law and avoid infringing on the God-given right of freedom of expression and thought of every Liberian citizen, regardless of lawful dissenting views. The plurality of voices strengthens Liberia’s democratic space, the former PUL officials asserted. According to Williams, Bantu and Abalo, the local stakeholders, the Judiciary, the international community and media advocacy groups have a duty to check the wanton abuse of the rights of Liberians and remind the Liberian Administration of its obligation under the Constitution and international law, their statement said.