August 21, 2000 – CPJ urges Liberia to release British news team
August 22, 2000 – Liberia charges Channel Four team with espionage
New York, August 25, 2000 — A four-man television news team from Britain’s Channel Four, detained in Liberia since August 18 on espionage charges, was released early this morning, according to international news reports and CPJ sources in the region.
In an interview with CNN, Liberian President Charles Taylor said that the four had “apologized” to the nation and had been freed. Sources at Channel Four told CPJ that the four journalists were released from Monrovia Central Prison in the early hours of August 25 and driven to the British consulate in the Liberian capital. From there they will travel to Abidjan in neighboring Ivory Coast, before flying home.
“We are delighted that the Channel Four team has been released,” CPJ executive director Ann Cooper said today. “While we do not believe they had anything to apologize for, the main thing is that they are out of prison and free to do their work.”