16 April 2018

Liberia: 'Full-Scale Probe' Underway - Liberia Vows to Bring Perpetrators of Slain Journalist to Justice

New York — Hours after the fatal murder of journalist Tyron A. Brown, Liberia's Minister of Information, Cultural Affairs and Tourism Lenn Eugene Nagbe says the Weah-led government will leave no stone unturned in bringing the killers to justice.

The late Brown, who worked with the Super FM and T, owned by Businessman Mr. George B. Kailando was allegedly murdered in cold blood early Monday morning.

According to some eyewitnesses, and neighbors, a black jeep came, and dropped Brown's body at his residence by 3:00 A.M. on Monday April 16,2018 and drove off. All his belongings including cellphone, modern and money were found by his body.

A dispatch from Liberia's Mission to the United Nations, said Minister Nagbe who's in the United States on official business received the news while in a meeting with the Africa Program Coordinator of the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) Angela Quintal.

The Information Minister disclosed that the police have begun a full scale investigation and assured that the government will leave no stone unturned in bringing the perpetrator (s) to justice.

Meanwhile, Minister Nagbe has reaffirmed the Liberian government's commitment to freedom of speech and press freedom and assured that President George Weah is resolute to decriminalize speech offences in Liberia.

Minister Nagbe said the Executive, in collaboration with the Press Union of Liberia and international partners is reviewing the bill to decriminalize speech offences and will submit it to the Legislature at its current session.

The Liberian Information Minister told the CPJ that it was difficult for any government to suppress the Press with the advancement in technology and existence of social media, adding that free press is indispensible to democracy.

He assured that President Weah will continue to reach out to the media and work to ensure a better relationship.

For her part, Ms. Quintal described the death of Journalist Brown as sad and urged that whomever is responsible should not go with impunity.

Ms. Quintal welcomed government's quest to decriminalize speech offenses but said there were still concerns that journalists can be affected by civil suits with very high damages.

She urged the government to also work to put a cap on the value of damages.

Meanwhile the Press Union of Liberia is shocked over the vicious killing of Journalist Brown and is calling for a speedy Police investigation which will include an autopsy to determine the cause of death.

PUL's President Charles Coffey said Journalist Brown's unfortunate death comes in the wake of the escalation of threats and intimidation of journalists and the independent media by some officials of government.

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