… and institute an immediate enquiry into these atrocities
The Government of President George Weah, little over two years in office—2018-2020—has already spoilt its name within the nation’s media because of its continued harassment and brutality against the press and Liberian journalists.
What kind of government do we have in Liberia that seems to have no idea of how to treat the press with civility and respect?
Instead, the government, led by its many security forces, are in the constant habit of brutalizing journalists while performing their professional journalistic duties.
This led the Press Union of Liberia (PUL) to stage a popular demonstration yesterday through the streets of Monrovia to present a forthright Petition to the Liberian government, complaining of the harassment and intimidation of journalists, detailing various incidents and calling on the Weah government to commission a transparent and broad-based investigation of the accused security agencies and their officers complicit in these wonton human rights violations, with the view to penalize those who will be found guilty.”
The PUL demo marched to several international organizations, including the United Nations and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and several foreign embassies, including those of the United States and the European Union.
In its statement, copies of which were circulated to the United Nations, the European Union and several embassies, the PUL also called on members of the international community to bring pressure to bear on the Weah administration immediately to commission an investigation into this police and other security brutality against the Liberian media and bring the perpetrators to justice.
Some of the many journalists harassed and brutalized by the police include Zenu Miller (deceased) of OK FM; Christopher Walker of Front Page Africa; James Kadi, The News Newspaper; Aryee Davies, Truth FM; Josephine Seekey of Sky FM; Kolubah Akoi, freelance journalist; and Benjamin Toby Johnson of Cyclone Newspaper.
Others were Salam Kuloko of Maggie Online TV; Methuselah Gaye of Fabric Radio’ and Kennedy Koloh, manager, River Cess Broadcasting System.
PUL also makes a clarion call to international media advocacy and human rights organizations, including the Center to Protect Journalists (CPJ), Reporters Without Borders (RWB), Freedom House (FH), Amnesty International (AI), Human Rights Watch (HRW), the International Press Institute (IPI) and their partners to bring pressure to bear on the Weah Administration to set up this probe and to bring the alleged perpetrators to justice and stop the intimidation of the press.
The PUL has made its case and we at the Daily Observer call on the Weah government immediately to set up this probe and not rest until all the facts are made known and all GOL officials and officers implicated are brought to justice.
Remember, we in the media are not working for ourselves but for the people. We serve a public duty to keep the people informed, educated and entertained.
Leave us to do our duty and to do it to the best of our ability and in the public interest.