It Appears Convincing that Rodney Sieh's compassionate leave was nothing but a fluke. The unfolding mishap surrounding the Journalist has created new battle ground between the Ministry of Justice and the Supreme Court of Liberia.
Latest Development That the Government of Liberia through the Ministry of Justice has put journalist Sieh under house arrest is not only unfortunate but it dampens the hopes of the journalist and those who have advocated his release.
In A Communication addressed to Cllr. Beyan D. Howard, one of the lawyers of Sieh, and signed by Deputy Justice Minister, Cllr. Benedict F. Sannoh, the government says the grant of compassionate leave is now before the Supreme Court therefore, it has become necessary to impose additional conditionality on the leave until final determination of the matter.
Cllr. Sannoh Writes: "... please be informed accordingly that effective immediately and upon the directive of the Minister of Justice and Attorney General, Christiana Tah, your client, Mr. Rodney Sieh, is to remain confined to his house until the expiration of the period granted for the compassionate leave. If for any compelling reason, Mr. Sieh is to leave his house, he must obtain prior approval from the Assistant Minister of Justice for Corrections and Rehabilitation."
Journalist Sieh Was given a compassionate leave about a week ago by Justice Minister Christiana Tah. Days after the leave was given, the Supreme Court summoned Minister Tah to give reasons for her decision. Moreover, the government said to ensure that the additional measure is observed, the Liberia National Police has been directed to keep 24 hours surveillance on journalist Sieh's house and his immediate perimeter.
As Of The issuance of the statement by the government, Mr. Sieh's home has been quarantined by state security forces.
We Acknowledge That the Executive under which the Justice Ministry falls and the Supreme Court are two separate and distinct branches of government. However, the court is the final place for justice which every Liberian respects. We presume the fact that the Court's summon against the Justice Minister is intended to get full understanding of the Ministry's position regarding the temporary release of Mr. Sieh.
While We May not know the legal reasons and technicalities behind the summons, we think that the temporary release is not a final authorization suggesting that Mr. Sieh is a free man. We believe that the compassionate leave granted the Journalist suggests that he's still under the custody of the Justice Ministry which controls the Monrovia Prison Compound.
This New Development is going to create a negative connotation for the government and most people are going to believe that the government has an ulterior motive against the Journalist. If this case continues to drag, it might affect Mr. Sieh psychologically, and that could be dangerous for his health.
We Strongly Believe that Mr. Sieh does not deserve the suffering and psychological torture he's going through. Howbeit, we pray that one day the true story that has been submerged will rise in the future.