FrontPage Africa is New Narratives’ major partner in Liberia and has worked with us on a range of important stories that have forced action in Liberia and garnered attention around the world. Sieh was jailed on August 21 after failing to pay a $1.5m libel verdict imposed on the paper in a bogus law suit. FrontPage Africa’s newspaper was shut down robbing thousands of loyal readers of the most reliable news outlet in the country (its US-registered online version www.frontpageafricaonline.com continues to operate).
New Narratives believes no democracy can thrive without a free press. Liberia’s Nobel laureate Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has frequently spoken about the importance of a vibrant media in her country’s efforts to rebuild. The actions against FrontPage Africa will make all Liberian media afraid to report the truth.
*The Liberian government release Rodney Sieh now.
*Allow FrontPage Africa to reopen.
*Fulfill its promise to draft legislation calling for the repeal of criminal defamation and “insult” laws in Liberia in the Table Mountain Declaration President Johnson Sirleaf signed last year.
*Enforce Liberia’s existing Freedom of Information law so that journalists may bring transparency to government.
*Prosecute Mr. Toe and other corrupt officials.
*Enact judicial reforms immediately so that the courts begin to serve the interests of ordinary Liberians rather than just shielding the elite.