A prominent Liberian journalist and lawyer, Attorney Kwame Clement, has urged the Government of Liberia (GOL) to stop using libel law against the media. According to Atty. Clement, libel law amounts to intimidation of the free press regarded as the core to any democracy.
He made these statements Tuesday, August 7, 2012 when he addressed the August Edition of the Press Union of Liberia (PUL) intellectual discourse, the Edward Wilmot Blyden Forum. The forum was held at the Monrovia YMCA under the topic: "The Power of the Media in The Fight Against Corruption and Sustainable Democracy in Liberia."
The Edward Wilmot Blyden forum is a monthly intellectual discourse that discusses contemporary issues of interest to government and people of Liberia. Speaking further, Atty. Clement observed that libel law impedes the effective functioning of the media, and henceforth, again underscored the need for the government to stop using it.
If you will be asked to be 100% sure before raising concerns on critical national issues, I do not think anybody will speak on issues at all because of fear, he asserted. He wants the government to allow the media operate freely without any form of intimidation in reporting on corruption and negative vices in society.
By doing so, the top Liberian journalist added, the country's nascent democracy would greatly be sustained. On the other hand, the former University of Liberia (UL) student leader urged Liberian journalists to perform their assigned task in line with professionalism.
He said the role of Liberian journalists in enhancing the peace and democracy of the country cannot be overemphasized. He among other things added that the enhancement of the peace and democracy of the country is very much contingent on the involvement of the media.