The Society of Liberian Journalists (SLJ) sees as mockery to justice and a kick in the face of the journalism community, the appointment of top government officials and individuals with history of media muzzling and brutality to probe into allegations of state sanctioned brutality against journalists and media workers.
SLJ places premium on matters relating to the safety and security of journalists and is therefore requesting the Weah-led administration to handle the investigation with the highest integrity and importance it deserves.
SLJ insists that the government as an accused party cannot be the one directing people with records of media harassment, intimidation and abuses to deliver impartial findings and judgment on the matter.
SLJ argues that dismantling the current inquiry team and replacing it with one consisting independent civil society actors and religious leaders would be the suitable option that will most certainly lend confidence to the probe process.
SLJ fears the Liberian government instituted culture wherein journalists are publicly flogged for perceived wrong committed against security officers and public officials.
The group is therefore unrelenting about its quest for the Weah-led administration to bring to end the trial by flogging.
On 18 March, the George Weah-led administration named former Information Minister Lawrence Bropleh to chair the investigation.
Other committee members are: University of Liberia Vice President Weade Kobbah Boley, Momo Cyrus – a private security firm operative and former PUL President Peter Quaqua as well as Lorette A. Lethea Pope-kai.
Bropleh, a current official of the Weah administration was Information Minister during the Johnson Sirleaf era, presided over mass arbitrary closure of media houses and attending hostilities.
In 2012, university professor Weade Kobbah Boley assaulted and damaged then FrontPage Africa reporter Wade Williams’ camera for photographing ex-warlord George Boley upon deportation from the United States to Liberia.
Mr. Cyrus Momo, who enjoys business deal with government, sued radio journalist Sekou Sheriff, demanding one million United States dollars in damages after the reporter flagged his alleged sexual abuse allegations.
SLJ is an umbrella organization for independent practicing journalists.
Octavin T. Williams
Acting Executive Director
Society of Liberian Journalist (SLJ)