The Association of Liberian Journalists in the Americas (ALJA) says it welcomes the Liberian government’s pledge of support in bringing to justice the perpetrators of the reported murder of the late Liberian broadcast journalist, Tyron A. Browne, of the Monrovia based Super FM radio station.
The late Browne was allegedly killed by some unknown individuals during the early morning hours of April 16, 2018, in the Duport Road Community in Paynesville, Montserrado County, Liberia, while heading to work. He was a reporter at Super FM. The station is owned by Liberian businessman and politician, George Kailondo. Mr. Kailondo is a member of the opposition Unity Party (UP).
In a press release issued on April 18, 2018, ALJA says it supports the government’s stance in ensuring that the incident is probed and that no stone is left unturned in the arrest and prosecution of the culprits for the heinous act committed. The Association asserts the Weah administration must now begin taking concrete actions that would ensure that the probe is executed with immediacy and transparency. ALJA asserts the Liberian government must exert every effort in ensuring journalist Browne’s murderers and those of other peaceful Liberians slaughtered in similar manner since the ascendency of the administration to power on January 22, 2018, are rounded up and prosecuted in a timely manner as well.
ALJA maintains the late journalist’s atrocious death and those of the others, who predeceased him in similar manner, speak volumes about how the security and human rights situations in Liberia are gradually taking a nosedive. ALJA notes the Liberian government has the moral and legal obligations to its citizens at home and abroad, and the international community by making sure that those who mobbed to death the expired Liberian man simply referred to as Mr. Kromah in the Lakpazee community on February 21, 2018, for reported arm robbery; and the individual, who killed the late Mrs. Joyce Otu Jaywheh in cold blood in the ELWA community in March of this year are arrested and forwarded to court for immediate prosecution. Mrs. Jaywheh was a resident of Minnesota in the US. She returned to Liberia few months ago.
The Americas based Liberian press corps notes the reported murders and the ongoing lawlessness in the country have put a dent in the Weah administration’s human rights image at home and abroad; and the government must act now in redeeming its image. Meanwhile, ALJA says its attention has been drawn to the prevailing strained relationship between the CDC led government and the media. ALJA says the current situation does not augur well for peaceful coexistence in Liberia.
The Association observes no society the world over flourishes in the absence of a vibrant independent media because the relationship between national development and the media is inseparable. ALJA notes if President Weah and the CDC led administration are to succeed in the political governance of Liberia, then, the need for a cordial media and government relationship cannot be overstated.
ALJA said the local Liberian media is simply reflecting what is obtaining in the Weah administration and Liberia as a whole. ALJA says it stands firmly with FrontPageAfrica Newspaper, journalist Jonathan Paye-layleh of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) and the Associated Press (AP), and all other journalists and media institutions in the coverage of happenings in Liberia accurately. The Association says the Liberian media and the government are not adversaries. ALJA says the only thing the media is asking President Weah and his officials to do, is to deliver on the campaign promises they made to the Liberian people during the 2017 general and presidential elections.
ALJA reminded Mr. Weah and the CDC that they promised to ensure accountability in the public sector by weeding out the corrupt and shady deals; so, they must deliver on those promises instead of venting their anger on the local media for simply performing its professional duties. In a related development, the Association has described the death of the former President of the Press Union of Liberia (PUL), Abdullah A. Kamara, as a huge blow to Liberia and the Liberian media.
The Association says Kamara’s death is an irreparable loss to Liberia because he was a fearless and robust advocate for press freedom and free speech in the country. ALJA says it is saddened by the loss suffered and prays that the almighty God would grant the PUL and the Kamara families solace during this difficult moment.
Mr. Kamara reportedly died of hypertensive stroke on April 17, 2018, at Phebe Hospital in Gbarnga, Bong County, Liberia where he had gone to conduct a workshop. The PUL former President’s remains was interred today in Grand Cape Mount County.