State Department Condemns the Arrest and Detention of Journalist Hassan Bility & two others in Liberia

(Statement issued n July 8, 2002,by Richard Boucher, Spokesman)

The Perspective
Atlanta, Georgia

Posted July 9, 2002

The United States shares the concerns recently issued by Amnesty International, Reporters without Borders, and others over the physical safety of journalist Hassan Bility and two others. We condemn the Government of Liberia's failure to follow the rule of law and urge it to comply with a Liberian court order to present these individuals publicly. The Government of Liberia has held these individuals incommunicado since it acknowledged their arrest on June 24.

We urge Liberia to adhere to its professed interest in national reconciliation, free and fair elections next year, protection of human rights, and freedom of peaceful expression.

The United States calls upon the Government of Liberia to create the conditions whereby true peace and national reconciliation can occur by encouraging, instead of banning, peaceful political expression and activity, and by lifting the current state of emergency.

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