Liberian publisher Sieh freed, news outlet reopened

A court in the capital Monrovia on November 18, 2013, officially ordered the release from prison of FrontPageAfrica publisher Rodney Sieh and the reopening of the offices of the private daily newspaper, according to news reports. The newspaper will resume its daily publication on November 25, 2013, Sieh told CPJ.

Sieh was imprisoned and FrontPageAfrica shut down in August 2013 for failing to pay US$1.5 million in damages to Chris Toe, a former government minister, who had sued Sieh, FrontPageAfrica, and Samwar Fallah, a reporter for the paper, for libel in 2010. Sieh, while in prison, had twice been hospitalized for pneumonia and malaria, which led to the government granting him a 30-day compassionate release under house arrest. Sieh was briefly returned to prison on November 8, 2013 but then released the same day, according to news reports.

The court ruled on Monday after Toe filed a three-count Bill of Information that waived all judgment, money, and claims against Sieh, Fallah, and FrontPageAfrica, according to news reports.