Following reported death threats against some prominent Liberian journalists including the Talk Show Host, T-Max Jlateh, the government of Liberia says it “very concerned over claims made a local radio talk show host T-Max Jlateh that there exists a plot by some unnamed individuals in the country to assassinate journalists”
In a press statement issued Thursday in Monrovia, the spokesperson for the Liberian Government Information Minister Lenn Eugene Nagbe said Government takes the allegation “grave” enough and wants a speedy investigation in to the matter.
“Journalists are an integral prerequisite for a fully functional democracy that the administration of President George M. Weah is consolidating. This is evidenced by the recent passage of the K. Abdullai Kamara Act of Press Freedom and other pro media actions which decriminalize speech offenses and create a platform for free expression” the Government’s press statement said.
Recently, the Liberian journalist Mr. Jlateh, who has been critical of the Weah Administration, alleged that he and other journalists were being targeted by persons he did not name.
The statement of the Government of Liberia is an attempt to get ahead of the “threat” alleged by the talk show host, given the climate of tension which now exists in the West African country.
The Information Minister said, “By these actions, the government seeks to create the space for all, including journalists to express themselves unfettered, so for anyone to be threatened on account of their view runs contrary to the intent of the new law. This will not be tolerated,” the statement emphasized.
Meantime, the Chairman of the ruling Congress for Democratic Change (CDC) political party Mr. Mulbah Morlu has added his voice to the call for an investigation into the threat against journalist Jlateh. Morul told a press conference at the party’s headquarter on Thursday that ‘this is a serious matter” that should be addressed.
Mr. Morlu blasted critics of the Government as “ haters” of the Weah Government, saying they wanted to see President Weah fail.
It can be recalled that Liberia’s Finance and Planning Minister and a CDC party member Samuel Tweah last year, in an apparent anger with the critical media reportage, threatened to “weaponize” his party’s base against the media. Media personal have since expressed concern about their safety in the face of such statement.