The government of Liberia has set up a five member committee to look into a petition presented to it on Thursday, March 12, by members of the Press Union of Liberia. In their grievance, the PUL alleged that some of their colleagues have experienced harassment and other forms of violence at the hands of state security personnel.
According to a release from signed by Information Minister, Lenn Eugene Nagbe says, the committee will be chaired by former Information Minister, Dr. Larry Bropleh, and will also comprise the CEO of Security Expert Guard Agency of Liberia (SEGAL), Momo Cyrus, and the former President of the Press Union of Liberia Peter Quaqua. Others are Prof Weade Kobbah Wureh Boley, Vice President for Research at the University of Liberia, and the head of Civil Society Council, Loretta Alethea Pope-Kai.
The release further said the committee is given a mandate to probe into the journalists’ complaint and report its findings in 10 working days and that the group will also be required to put forth recommendations on how to ensure harmony between the security forces and journalists as they carry out their respective tasks.
“The administration of President George Weah reiterates its commitment to a free press; the government acknowledges that an independent media is cardinal to a wholesome functioning democracy” the release noted adding that President Weah has repeatedly committed himself to upholding the rule of law in the dispensation of his constitutional duties, pledging that there will be no “sacred cows”.
It can be recalled that last week, members of the Liberia under the banner of the PUL staged a peaceful protest and presented petitions to the Legislature, the office of the president and other partners, calling government’s attention to harassments and brutality in some cases against members of the media by state security.