‘GOL Must Respect Free Expression’

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Former Press Union of Liberia leaders, Gabriel Williams and Isaac Bantu

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.

6 COMMENTS

  1. Gabriel Williams is a fool! You cannot confuse free speech with incitement; if that were the case, Donald Trump as a president could not have been impeached!
    Henry Costa utterances that openly insult the citizenry and the government officials do not speak to the issues; Gabriel Williams, anacharists and their wanton desires to usurp the rule of law in Henry Costa, do not represent democracy.
    Your animonsity of president Weah emanating from your job loss in the foreign service of Liberia should not be an equivalent of an underground agenda to stifle a democratic government.

    Your litany of lies has failed to move American foreign policymakers and the fact is, the Americans do not trust you! You are a liar!

    Get back to doing something better differently than the old tricks of politicizing every legal action of a sitting goverment.
    If Donald Trump and right-wings extremists could have been purged out of the media landscape in the US, Henry Costa, is no diffetent in Liberia!

  2. These dullards (Bantu, Williams, Abalo, etc) fail to realize that although the constitution prohibits curtailment of free speech and or prior restraint, the very Constitution DOES NOT give government or anyone the rights or powers to aid and abet FUGITIVES!

    NOR IS THE NONCURTAILMENT OF FREE SPEECH ABSOLUTE! FOR compelling circumstances ( eg. acts or decisions aiding and abetting fugitives and or principals in the first and second degrees, etc.) must be taken into account! They need to go back to school or at least consult their lawyers to tutor them on the three major schools of legal thought…NATURAL LAW, LEGAL REALISM, POSITIVISTIC SCHOOL!

    In other words, as for these other dummies…Gabriel, Isaac, and Emmanuel, I will not even waste my time with them who lack the metal capacity to understand the spirit or letter of a given constitutional provision (eg. article 15 Lib Const) to the extent that they believe a government should ( because of the non curtailment of free speech except during emergency) AID AND ABET A FUGITIVE’S SCHEMES WHILE GIVING CREDENCE TO THE FUGITIVE’S INTENDED ACCOMPLICES AND FELLOW PRINCIPALS IN THE FIRST AND SECOND DEGREES viz their offenses and violations of a sovereign nation’s statutory and constitutional laws.

    But of course, in their chronic idiocy and extreme ignorance of the major schools of legal thought which provides that in interpreting the law, CIRCUMSTANCES, CUSTOMS, PRACTICES, of states as well as universal, moral, and ethical principles inherent in human nature, MUST BE TAKEN INTO ACCOUNT, and not simply what is written, we are not surprised that such dullards (Bantu, Williams, Abalo, etc. etc.) would spew such rubbish!

  3. While some of us were loudly critical of overreach, these media executives were blind, deaf, and dumb as the Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf regime locked up Costa, and denied him bail for allegedly falsely accusing NSA boss Fomba Sirleaf. Of course, Article 15 (a) says “every person shall have the right to freedom of expression, being fully responsible for the abuse thereof…”, and Costa has carelessly and constantly “abused” that right.

    For example, the defeated politician and talkshow host, who denied being a journalist to not abide by journalistic ethics, incites tourists-driving and business-killing street protests thereby helping in undermining recovery of an inherited sick economy. Not to mention that instead of seeking redress in court, this guy went as far as threatening to buy guns for former rebels to bring down President Weah if government closed his radio station. Yet, disregard for the law and stoking uprising had catapulted him into the top of our political opposition in a country where many are like the doomed children of Robert Browning’s poem “The Pied Piper of Hamelin”.

  4. You dullards Isaac Bantu, Gabriel Williams, Emmanuel Abalo, etc.etc, FREEDOM OF SPEECH IS A NON ISSUE HERE!

    Now, as usual, you dullards will always present yourselves THE PHONIES YOU ARE. Hence, like the laymen you are, YOU ARE intellectually unable to articulate what THE ISSUES ARE!

    The issues ARE..

    (1) WHETHER THE GOVERNMENT SHOULD BE INFIDELIOUS OR VIOLATIVE OF THE CONSTITUTION BY AIDING AND ABETTING A FUGITIVE OR IN SHORT, OBSTRUCTING JUSTICE BY..

    (2) the government permitting that radio station or any radio station to host the fugitives program, would not the very government be betraying the laws of the land, setting a dangerous precedence, and IPSO FACTO CONCEALING OR AIDING AND ABETTING THE FUGITIVE, AND ALSO PREVENTING THE APPREHENSION OF THE FUGITIVE? AND..

    (3) By the government allowing a fugitive and that radio station or any other radio station host the program of the fugitive within Liberias territorial and extraterritorial jurisdiction, would not the very government be conducting itself UNDER INCHOATE OFFENSES as a principal in both the first and second degrees, and also an accessory before the fact and after the fact viz the flouting of the law and the offenses and violations of the FUGITIVE?

    You half baked journalists and chronic stooges and opportunists and followers of past political flunkies and corrupt bastards who have milked the state, to the three issues, should the government listen to the stupidity from dullards like you and those other DULLARDS calling yourselves “former media executives“, this government would be in a nutshell, violating the constitution and flouting statutory laws by concealing and aiding A FUGITIVE, while at the same time, ENGAGING IN THE OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE!

    THAT PORTUGUESE FUGITIVE SHOULD GO BACK TO HIS PORTUGUESE VILLAGE AS A RETURNEE! BUT AS FAR AS LIBERIA IS CONCERNED HENRIQUE PEDRO COSTA THE PORTTUGUSE EXTORTIONIST IS A FUGITIVE!

  5. The very people you’re referring to as ‘dullards’ are advocating for your right to use such language on the pages of the Observer newspaper and even without you using your real names. Interesting!

  6. Whoever told you that stooges and opportunists, whether they are dullards or highly intelligent individual, ever have any conviction for the advocacy of rights, has simply lied to you.

    I would have agreed with you had you even implied you are referring to Kenneth Yakpawolo Best the proprietor of this news outlet, or its reporters and editors, and not selfish rascals who when receiving salaries and gas slips from government while in the employ of government, are propagandists for the very acts and omissions of government they criticized while they were jobless.

    But as soon as they become jobless again, they somersault masquerading as opposition stooges and foot soldiers with the motive and intent to actually attain a government job again.

    Lewis Brown, Emmanuel Bowier, Isaac Jackson, Emmanuel Abalo, Isaac Bantu, Gabriel Williams, are the chronic or notorious rascals or culprits in this regard.

    Mind you, this mentality is highly rampant within gangs referring to themselves as so called media executives both incumbent and former, those and those ones referring to themselves as progressives (when they are jobless), and their fellow jobseekers for government jobs. A TYPICAL EXAMPLE OF SUCH RASCALS ARE THE ACDL AND THE NPFL GANGS AND THEIR FOLLOWERS, A FEW OF WHOM ARE HERE DISPLAYING THEIR USUAL “ME ME ME ME“ MENTALITY.

    And worse, they are so much bent on such selfishness and dishonesty that they would even put their reputation on the line by springing into discussions or debates in which they are mere ignoramus. This is the case here with them on this matter in which..

    (1) they have no idea that any government which allows the radio program of A FUGITIVE to be aired on a radio station within the jurisdiction of the given country from which the very fugitive ran away from justice would..

    (2) simply be preventing the apprehension of the fugitive, concealing and aiding the fugitive, and therefore obstructing justice.

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