(Monrovia, Thursday, February 1, 2018)- The Press Union of Liberia has strongly condemned, and is considering all options to address the cruelviolence carried out against Legislative Reporters on Wednesday, January 31, 2018 on the ground of the Capitol.
The journalists had converged on the Senate Chamber to cover the confirmation hearing of Justice Minister- designate Charles H. Gibson.
In a statement issued in Monrovia today, the Union said the flogging of the frontline reporters is shameful, unnationalistic and one especially aimed at undercutting the country’s gains in free expression and journalists’ protection.
Press Union of Liberia President, Charles B. Coffey, Jr.: “There is absolutely no justification for violence in the new Liberia least to mention the burdening of journalists from the floor of senate like common criminals leaving some injured”.
“The Union will take the matter up with the Plenary of Liberian Senate through its President, Madam Jewel Howard Taylor and President Pro Tempore, Albert Chie. Journalists are not whipping dogs and this disgraceful incident causes more injury to the reputation of our country, when the country profile is being enriched by successful transferred of power from democratically elected government to another”.
Journalists from different entities had gathered on the senate floor to listen to the confirmation hearing of Justice Minister- designate Charles H. Gibson due to break down in the only Public Address System in the chamber for nearly a year. The setup which enables journalists to record proceedings of the senate or debates from floor during sessions has been destroyed since March 13, 2016. The PA system was donated by USAID.
It is only right that journalists be accorded unhindered access to public information providers in the realm of the laws of Liberia, the Union insist.
The Press Union of Liberia is meanwhile calling on Legislative Affairs Reporters to remain professional and follow the confirmation proceedings of Justice Minister Charles H. Gibson and all confirmation hearings to its logical conclusion.
Liberian People deserves the news and any attempt to disrupt that sacred service to the state will be defeated by lovers of democracy, the PUL stressed.
Daniel Nyakonah, Jr.
Press Union of Liberia
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