Liberian Media Executive Complains About Threats Made by Defense Minister Chea

The Inquirer
Monrovia, Liberia

Distributed by

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia

May 19, 2003

A member of the Press Union of Liberia and News Director at the Liberia Communications Network(LCN), Moses Sonkarlay has complained to the PUL about threats made on his life by Defense Minister General Daniel Chea.

Journalist Sonkarlay said the threat was made on his life by Minister Chea at about 8:00a.m. Saturday, May 10, 2003 in the presence of several employees of LCN after he (Sonkarlay) refused to approve the airing of a press release concerning the late Sam Bockarie alias "Mosquito", because the release was not signed by the Minister and did not carry the letter-head of the Defense Ministry.

Mr. Sonkarlay said realizing the sensitivity of the Sam Bockarie’s issue, he refused to sanction the airing of the release.

Apparently enraged because he (Minister Chea) did not hear the story on the 7p.m. LCN newscast, he drove to the radio station and began to inquire about me where he openly made the threats, a press statement said.

"Minister Chea got my cell phone number from one of the employees of KISS FM and began raining threats upon my life. That press release is your are playing with your life...infact somebody please show me the man’s residence", were the words of Minister Chea on my cell phone.

"I tried to tell him that I meant no harm, as the release in question was not signed, therefore I could not air it.

"He became even more furious, and also accused me of being a saboteur planted at KISS FM to work against the interest of the Government and so he will get me.

"Right now my family, parents and relatives are deeply worried about my security because of the threats, especially from the Defense Minister. I am not a saboteur working against the Government", he said in the press statement.

"I am appealing to the PUL, International Federation of Journalists, human rights groups to ensure my safety because I am worried and sleepless at night", Mr. Sonkarlay said.

© 2003: This article is copyrighted by The Inquirer newspaper (Monrovia, Liberia) and distributed by The Perspective (Atlanta, Georgia). All rights reserved.