As Gov’t Insists On Issuing Journalists Official ‘Passes’, To Operate After 3PM, PUL Rejects Action

PUL President Charles Coffey

The membership of the Press Union of Liberia (PUL) has publicly rejected the issuing of passes by the Liberian government through the Ministry of Information during operation of journalists to carry out their professional during the duration of the State of Emergency recently announced by the Liberian leader, President George Weah.

At a mass meeting held today, May 8, 2020 at the headquarters of the Press Union of Liberia resolved that its members  will continue the use of their appropriate institutional and the Union’s identity cards at all times to carry out their duties.

A statement issued following the assembly rejected the action of the government through Deputy Information Minister Eugene Fahngon to restrict the movements of journalists as a clear attempt to undermine the role of media people in the war against the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Union also sees the constraints being imposed by the government as running contrary to the warning of the United Nations Secretary General in his statement marking this year’s World Press Freedom Day.

The Union further warned the government of Liberia will be held responsible for any harm and intimidation suffered by  journalists and media workers during the discharge of their duties in the face of the current threats through the deputy minister of Information, Eugene Fahngon.

The Union sees as a complete violation of the MOU reached between its leadership and the government,  Minister Fahngon’s decision to unilaterally accredit journalists to cover the COVID-19 pandemic in isolation of the PUL.

The Union says it, however, remains open to constructive engagements and discussions with the government in the interest of the mutual understanding that should be existing between the two sides and encourages its members to continue to use their official working and PUL accreditation cards to carry on their functions

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About Cholo Brooks 13495 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.