The Press Union of Liberia (PUL) said it is concerned about the increasing resort to violence in various parts of the country and by various actors.
“This is so wrong and does not support global plans to make Liberia free of conflict,” a PUL statement released said.
“While we do not want communities to justify communal violence in response to unexplained killings and other civic violations, we however call upon the government to ensure that law enforcement and judicial authorities hastily respond to such situations to allay the fears of offended citizens”, PUL President Abdullai Kamara said in the statement.
The PUL statement comes in the wake of unease and tension triggered by recent violence in Ganta, Nimba County.
“We are also seriously concerned about the resulting intimidation of journalists in Nimba County, including seizure of their motorbikes and public threats to their persons by the county authority and state security forces”, said the PUL President.
Journalists Sam Yeasain and Emmanuel Tarr of Radio Kergheamahn, Mac Samah of Voice of Flumpa, Aaron Gono of Voice of Ganta were at different dates and points detained and their motorbikes confiscated by state security.
Mr. Kamara said that “this [intimidation] is unacceptable, especially in the face of a wild claim by Superintendent Fong Zuagele that the violence was prompted by media reports.
The PUL encourages journalists across Nimba to remain professional in the discharge of their duties and warns local authorities in the county of the importance of community radio in engendering local development as evidenced by the role played by these media outlets during the deadly Ebola crisis.
The PUL has also called for state security forces and local authorities to work with journalists in Nimba to develop a visibility system that will avert misunderstandings with journalists.
In the same vein, the PUL said, it will not hesitate to act within the domain of the Laws of Liberia to protect all journalists, and the right to free expression.