Gov’t Assures Partners, Liberians of Rights Protection

The Liberian Government has reassured development partners and Liberians, that it will fully uphold the Liberian constitution that provides for freedom of speech and of the press, and will continue to respect and protect these rights at all times.
The reassurance was contained in a press statement issued Monday by the Government in reaction to the 2013 annual human rights report of the U.S. State Department on Liberia.

In its report, the U.S. State Department notes that Liberian “Authorities generally maintained effective control over the security forces.”

But the Government said it is particularly gratified by the U.S. State Department’s recognition and announcement of serious efforts by the Liberian Government that address the areas of concern in the Report.

The Liberian Government said it was “proud” to state that it was based on its respect for civil liberties that the Liberian leader Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, endorsed and signed the World Association of Newspapers and News Publisher’s Declaration of Table Mountain in Monrovia, in July 2012, committing the government to the core principles of free press.

On Freedom of Speech, the Liberian Government noted that that even its harshest critics would have difficulty disagreeing that individual Liberians have always been free to criticize the government publicly or privately, without any form of censorship or reprisal.

Regarding Press Freedom in Liberia, the Liberian Government said it is proud to say that Liberia today ranks second to none in the comity of nations, as seen daily in the contents of radio programs and newspaper headlines in the country, bad-mouthing the Government, most often unjustifiably.

The Government pointed out that even the social media has continued to grow in strength and enjoy unlimited freedom in its coverage of the Liberian Government, without government restrictions on access to the internet or reports that the government monitored the social media.

“The Government notes, with appreciation, the U.S. Department’s recognition of the fact that there were no government restrictions on academic freedom or cultural events, and that there were no government restrictions on peaceful assembly or association,” said the statement quoted by the Liberia News Agency.

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