Reporters Without Borders calls for Frontpage Africa editor Rodney Sieh's definitive release and the reopening of his newspaper after a court freed him last week on "compassionate grounds" for a period of 30 days beginning on 8 October.
Jailed on 21 August for being unable to pay former agriculture minister Chris Toe 1.6 million dollars (1.2 million euros) in libel damages, Sieh is forbidden to travel abroad and must notify the authorities if he leaves the capital, Monrovia, during this temporary period of release.
"Sieh's temporary release is totally unsatisfactory," Reporters Without Borders said.
"This half-measure allows the Liberian government to save face with respect to all the pressure it has been under for several months from Liberian and international human rights NGOs, but it does not address the underlying problem, the illegitimacy of Sieh's detention in the first place."
"This case underlines the importance of completing the decriminalization of defamation by setting a ceiling on damage awards. Sieh was jailed for being unable to pay the excessive damages ordered in this case. Such a disproportionate amount helps to intimidate the media and obstruct freedom of information." Reporter Without Borders added.