Liberia : Editor and board chairman arrested

(Issued by Media Foundation for West Africa)

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia

November 21, 2002

Jerome Dalieh, editor and Wilson Tarpeh, board chairman of The News newspaper, were arrested on Friday November 15, 2002 by Police director Paul Mulbah for publishing an article in its Friday edition of the newspaper.

Dalieh and Tarpeh told Media Foundation For West Africa (MFWA) Liberia sources after their release that, they were informed that they had been "invited" to the office of President Charles Taylor for "consultation" over a story in the newspaper which recalled that statements impugning potentially criminal behaviour on the part of the Catholic archbishop of Monrovia, Michael Francis, were made "on Charles Taylor's Kiss FM radio." A press release issued in solidarity with the archbishop by the Catholic church in Liberia complained that a member of President Taylor's government, Sando Johnson, had accused the archbishop of orchestrating the death of six catholic nuns during the years of conflict in the country

The President took exception to the newspaper story and said it was bias and personal. The MFWA condemns the arrest of the two journalists and calls on President Taylor to demonstrate a greater sense of tolerance and respect for media freedom in Liberia.

Kindly protest against the hostile media environment in the country and send it to:

H.E Charles Taylor
Republic of Liberia
Executive Mansion
Monrovia, Liberia
Tel: 231 226360
Fax: 231 226789

Or to any Liberian embassy close to where you live.

© The Perspective
P.O. Box 450493
Atlanta, GA 31145