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Blog   |   Liberia

In attempts to contain Ebola, Liberia censors its press

Security forces guard a checkpoint in an area of Monrovia that was in quarantine for several days as part of government efforts to try to contain Ebola in Liberia. (Reuters)

With the Ebola epidemic predicted to get worse, the Liberian government has taken action to silence news outlets critical of its handling of the health crisis which, according to Liberia's Information Ministry, has claimed more than 1,000 lives in the country since March. Publishers have been harassed and forced to cease printing, and journalists were initially not exempt from a curfew, making it difficult for them to work, according to the Press Union of Liberia (PUL).

Case   |   Liberia

Liberian police beat journalist covering ebola protest

Liberian police on August 11, 2014, assaulted Henry Karmo, a journalist with the independent FrontPageAfrica newspaper, while he was photographing protesters in the capital, Monrovia, demonstrating against the imposition of a 90-day state of emergency by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, according to news reports. The directive was aimed at controlling the spread of the deadly ebola virus, the reports said.

Case   |   Liberia

Liberian publisher Sieh freed, news outlet reopened

A court in the capital Monrovia on November 18, 2013, officially ordered the release from prison of FrontPageAfrica publisher Rodney Sieh and the reopening of the offices of the private daily newspaper, according to news reports. The newspaper will resume its daily publication on November 25, 2013, Sieh told CPJ.

November 20, 2013 4:41 PM ET

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Statements   |   Liberia

CPJ welcomes release of Liberian journalist Rodney Sieh

New York, October 8, 2013--The Committee to Protect Journalists welcomes Monday's decision by Liberia's Ministry of Justice to grant Rodney Sieh--the publisher of FrontPageAfrica who has been jailed since August for not paying libel damages--"compassionate release" for 30 days. The conditions behind Sieh's release were not clear, but the journalist's health had deteriorated in prison. It is also unclear what will happen to Sieh after 30 days.

Letters   |   Liberia

Sirleaf urged to reform libel laws, free Rodney Sieh

Dear President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf: We call on you to decriminalize defamation; adopt monetary damages for libel commensurate with the harm done and within limits Liberians can afford; and halt the incarceration of defendants unable to pay, which is highly unusual in civil cases. We urge you to facilitate the release of jailed journalist Rodney Sieh and the reopening of his newspaper, FrontPageAfrica.

Statements   |   Liberia

CPJ holds Liberia responsible for Rodney Sieh's well-being

New York, August 28, 2014--The Committee to Protect Journalists is alarmed by today's hospitalization of leading Liberian independent journalist Rodney Sieh, who has been on hunger strike since his imprisonment on August 21.

August 28, 2013 1:14 PM ET

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Alerts   |   Liberia

Liberian news outlet shut down, publisher jailed

A screen shot of FrontPageAfrica's home page.

Abuja, Nigeria, August 23, 2013--The Committee to Protect Journalists today condemns moves by Liberian authorities to shut down FrontPageAfrica and jail its publisher for not paying US$1.5 million in damages related to a libel conviction.

Reports   |   China

Challenged in China

3. Made in China: Models for media and censorship

By Danny O’Brien and Madeline Earp

As the founding editor, in 2005, of the Liberian online investigative news site FrontPage Africa, Rodney Sieh has fought off lawsuits, imprisonment, and death threats. In the face of such pressures, he has still managed to expand the website into one of Liberia’s best-selling daily newspapers, making him a leading figure in both new and traditional news media in the country. It’s not surprising then, that he was one of 17 prominent African journalists and publishers invited by the Chinese government to a three-week “News and Publishing Seminar in Developing Countries” last August in Beijing.

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