Liberia / Africa

Journalists attacked in Liberia since 1992

  
A police officer clears shoppers from a market on the first day of lockdown to stop the spread of COVID-19 disease in Monrovia, Liberia, on April 11, 2020. The government says the right to free expression is suspended during the state of emergency. (Reuters/Derick Snyder)

Liberia’s journalists wary as authorities announce new press passes, threaten shutdowns

When the coronavirus arrived in Liberia, local journalists knew what it meant to report on a deadly, infectious disease; six years earlier they had donned personal protective equipment (PPE) to report on the Ebola crisis, Musa Kenneh, the Press Union of Liberia’s secretary general, told CPJ. But this time, Kenneh said, threatening comments from government…

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Police are seen in Monrovia, Liberia, on January 6, 2020. Security forces recently harassed and attacked at least four journalists in Liberia. (AFP/Carielle Doe)

Journalists in Liberia attacked, harassed for reporting on COVID-19

Since March 19, 2020, Liberian security forces have attacked or intimidated at least four journalists covering the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the journalists, who spoke with CPJ in phone calls and via messaging apps, and a report posted on Facebook by the Press Union of Liberia, a local trade group.

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Liberian journalists protest against authorities' alleged brutality against their colleagues in Monrovia, Liberia, on March 12, 2020. (FrontPage Africa/Alline Dunbar)

Liberian journalists harassed, arrested by security forces

Since February 13, 2020, Liberian security forces have harassed, assaulted, or detained at least four journalists during the course of their work, according to the journalists, who spoke with CPJ, and a petition from the Press Union of Liberia, an independent media workers’ advocacy group.

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Police are seen in Monrovia, Liberia, on January 6, 2020. Police recently arrested journalist Kolubah Bobo Akoi over his Facebook posts. (AFP/Carielle Doe)

Liberian journalist Kolubah Bobo Akoi arrested over Facebook posts

Abuja, Nigeria, March 12, 2020 — Liberian authorities should drop the police investigation into journalist Kolubah Bobo Akoi’s work and allow him to cover the news freely, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.

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Christopher Walker (center, in red) is seen being removed from the press area in Samuel Kanyon Doe Sport Stadium in Monrovia, Liberia, on January 23, 2020. (FrontPage Africa)

Liberian police assault editor Christopher Walker at soccer tournament

On January 23, 2020, officers of the Liberia National Police assaulted Christopher Walker, the sports editor of the privately owned daily newspaper FrontPage Africa, during the semi-final of a national soccer tournament at the Samuel Kanyon Doe Sport Stadium in Monrovia, the capital, according to Walker, who spoke to CPJ via messaging app, local news…

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The Samuel Kanyon Doe Sport Stadium is seen in Monrovia, Liberia, on January 21, 2018. Journalist Zenu Koboi Miller recently died weeks after he was allegedly assaulted at the stadium by bodyguards of Liberian President George Weah. (Reuters/Thierry Gouegnon)

Liberian journalist dies weeks after alleged assault by presidential bodyguards

On January 26, 2020, bodyguards of Liberian President George Weah assaulted Zenu Koboi Miller, a local broadcast journalist, as he was leaving the Samuel Kanyon Doe Sport Stadium in Monrovia, the capital, where he had covered the final of a national soccer tournament, according to a Facebook post by the journalist, local journalists who spoke…

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Demonstrators are seen in Monrovia, Liberia, on June 7, 2019. Amid the protests, social media services were disrupted throughout Liberia. (AFP/Carielle Doe)

CPJ calls on Liberian authorities to ensure access to internet and social media services

Abidjan, June 7, 2019–Starting this morning, social media services including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and WhatsApp were disrupted throughout Liberia, according to data from the internet advocacy group NetBlocks and local journalists who spoke with the Committee to Protect Journalists. NetBlocks also reported disruptions to the Associated Press website and Google’s Gmail and News services…

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Policemen are seen at the Temple of Justice in Monrovia, Liberia, on December 7, 2017. Journalists from local radio station Roots FM were recently sued for $500,000 in a civil defamation suit by the Liberian minister of state for presidential affairs. (Reuters/James Giahyue)

Radio station and show hosts sued for defamation in Liberia

Cape Town, May 1, 2019 — The Committee to Protect Journalists today expressed concern over a $500,000 civil defamation lawsuit filed against the Roots 102.7 FM radio station and two of its hosts by the Liberian minister of state for presidential affairs, Nathaniel McGill.

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People listen to a radio in Monrovia, Liberia, on December 27, 2017. The Roots FM radio station in Monrovia was recently attacked in two separate incidents. (Thierry Gouegnon/Reuters)

Liberian radio station transmitter attacked twice in 10 days

Abidjan, February 15, 2019–The Committee to Protect Journalists today called on Liberian authorities to ensure that those responsible for two recent attacks on independent broadcaster Roots FM are swiftly arrested and prosecuted.

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FrontPageAfrica publisher Rodney Sieh, pictured on his release from prison in November 2013. Sieh says journalists in Liberia continue to face threats and harassment for their critical reporting. (AP/Mark Darrough)

Q&A: Rodney Sieh on how Liberia’s press is faring under Weah presidency

Rodney Sieh, editor-in-chief and publisher of Liberian investigative outlet FrontPageAfrica, knows first-hand the harassment and risks critical journalists in his country face. In 2013, CPJ documented how he was sentenced to prison over unpaid fines in a criminal defamation case.

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