Liberia President Weah Talks Out of The Side of His Mouth on Press Freedom

Liberia President Weah Talks Out of the Side of his Mouth on Press Freedom

During his recent speech at the United Nations (UN), Liberia President George Weah said, “Our country is today a beacon of democracy in Africa with the freedom of press, expression, association and other political and democratic rights respected under the law.”

It appeared the during his UN speech, Weah was talking out of the side of his mouth. On October 10, the Liberian police raided and closed a radio station, Roots FM, owned by Henry Costa. Costa’s station is a regular critical of Weah. The Weah government accused the station of inciting violence.

The Weah Ministry of Justice accused the station of “committing criminal acts against the Republic of Liberia, willfully and illegally elected and decided to criminally use their broadcast equipment name supra for the commission of the following crimes against the republic and the peace loving people of Liberia by inciting rioting & violence, broadcasting hate messages against the government, public nuisance, disorderly conduct, aiding consumption of crime, advocating armed insurrection, criminal attempt, criminal facilitation, criminal conspiracy and other criminal acts intended to instigate subversion against the government of Liberia.”

A regular critic of Mr. Weah’s government, Costa had referred to the Weah administration as “incapable of managing the economy.” He also accused the Weah of corruption, “We want to know what he had before becoming president, how he is able to build so many properties and acquire new ones in a relatively short period of time when he didn’t do that before coming to power,” says Costa.

The police had illegally raided Roots FM, harassed their employees, confiscated and destroy their equipment on couple of occasions.

Meanwhile, opposition political parties have collective condemned the closure of a privately-owned radio station, Roots FM, by the government of Liberia by stating that Press Freedom and Freedom of Speech are fundamental rights enshrined in the Constitution of Liberia and any infringement on such right is a gross violation of the constitution.

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