Liberia: CSO Group Against Media Blackmailing

-Craves Pul Intervention; Vow Legal Action

A local advocacy group under the banner, Citizens United in Defense of Morality Against Blackmailing (CUDMAB), a nationwide Civil Society Movement working for the promotion of morality against media blackmailing in Liberia has vowed to take stern action against journalists in the regular practice of blackmailing individuals within the society against the ethical values and good teachings of the noble journalism profession.

CUDMAB is a non for profit CSO group with nearly 7,000 members across Liberia.

In a press statement issued recently, the group raised concern over the manner in which some Liberian journalists and talk show hosts have embarked on relentless blackmailing spree against reputable individuals within the society without any proof or evidence to back their ill-fated claims.

CUDMAB particularly singled out Journalist Sekou Sheriff of Freedom FM for his continued alarm of falsehoods that he levied against Mr. Momo T. Cyrus, General Manager and Chief Executive Officer of the Security Expert Guard Agency of Liberia (SEGAL).

It may be recalled that on Wednesday, August 14, 2019, Journalist Sekou Sheriff declared on a local radio station (Freedom FM) that SEGAL's CEO Cyrus T. Momo is in the constant business of sexually harassing female employees of his company without providing any evidence to that effects.

"While it's true that we (CUDMAB) appreciate the role of whistle blowing in the media and the Liberian society against acts of sexual and gender based violence, it is equally important to note that such claims must be based on facts and not falsehoods which have brought many invidious and prominent citizens to public disrepute within the society."

This is also a violation of the fundamental rights of individuals who characters have been repeatedly maligned by a group of journalists who have decided to sell the respectable journalism profession for little or nothing," CUDMAB's National Secretary General Jefferson Cole descended.

The group also considered the logic and premise upon which journalist Sekou Sheriff has chosen to embark on such incendiary campaign at the detriment of the reputation of credible people within the society.

It further that such behavior also violates the spirit and intent of the Freedom of Information Law whose crafters did not imagine at any time soon, that despite its guiding principles squarely laid down and premised on best international practice and fundamental human rights and societal norms will willfully choose to corner himself in a tight space of badmouthing and blind his eyes to existing reality and truth telling.

With sickening accounts, CUDMAB respectfully notifies the PUL that it is the same journalist Sekou Sheriff, after reportedly receiving huge sum of kickbacks from some greedy and power thirsty politicians has been frequently insulting Presidential Protocol Finda Bondo without any evidence of his painstaking allegations and therefore, now is the time that the umbrella journalism union in the country must step in to stop this madness.

CUDMAB at the same time called on the journalism regulatory body, PUL, without any fear or favor, to immediately investigate the so-called Freedom FM journalist Sekou Sheriff against this media gang-ragging conduct.

"We want the PUL to act immediately. We are also calling on the Management of Freedom FM to launch an investigation into this matter. If all these measures fail, we hope not, we'll have no other choice but to take legal action against journalist Sekou Sheriff and his Management," CUDMAB warns.

The further bewailed "Blackmailing is an act that must be condemned by all well-meaning Liberians. It is against the ethics and professional conduct of any journalist and should not be encouraged in these times of country's national course." TNR

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