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CDC WArns Against MEdia Crackdown

Liberia’s main opposition Party, the Congress for Democratic Change, has warned the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf-led Government against the impending shutdown of Liberia #1 newspaper, FrontPageAfrica. A person close to Liberia’s political elites has described the warning as a potential threat that could lead to another showdown between CDC Partisans and security forces in Monrovia. In its press release, CDC Chairman, George Solo, held no punches as he described government action as a “dangerous move that could severely undermine the growth and development of democratic governance in Liberia.” Read full press statement is below.



CDC Warns against Arrest of Journalist Rodney Sieh; Says Closure of FrontPage Africa Newspaper Is an Unacceptable Attack on Free Press. ..

Monrovia-Liberia (20 August 2013):  The National Executive Committee of the Congress for Democratic Change views the attempted arrest of Journalist Rodney Sieh as an attempt of the state to  exploit judicial tyranny to muscle free press. The party cautions government to refrain from its intended strategy of closing down the FrontPage Africa Newspaper, as it says  is  a  dangerous move that could severely undermine the growth and development of democratic governance in Liberia. The party says it will stand against the harassment of any member of the press and has instructed its Department of Operations to ensure partisans of the CDC turns out tomorrow to provide moral support for the paper's publisher, in the event the government remains flagrantly insensitive to the principles of press freedom.
The leadership of the CDC believes, while the FrontPage Africa Newspaper may not be fault-free in the performance of its journalistic duties, any action to shut its doors is explicit of a targeted psychological destruction of the confidence of the free press to report ills against entrusted public officials. 
The party says this contemplated action, which appears to be an offshoot of determined strategies of the highest raptness of corrupt officials in the government of President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, is a calculated design to silence the eloquent resonances of the media at the expense of an already-failed anti-corruption campaign.  

The party therefore cautions the government of President Sirleaf to reconsider the move against the paper and its publisher or intervenes to avoid proliferated biases that could hinder its statutory duties to uphold freedom of speech, which is a seething fantasy without granting the full installment of press freedom.
In furtherance, the Congress for Democratic Change holds to the conviction that the closure of the paper will be publicly judged as a tyranny of the judiciary wrought by counter-progressive masterminds to ease the exploitation and plundering of public resources with limitless impunity. 

In review of the levied charges against the paper and the speed of priority, judgment and its attendant verdict, the CDC opines that the entire arbitration sketch leaves behind a trail of reprehensive judicial hassle that infuses an overdose of fatal venom in the heart of our fledgling and struggling democracy.
The CDC assumes, if the decision to shut down the paper and arrest its publisher  is not restrained, it’s an implicit decision to hunt and tear down the needed practice of transparent democracy in Liberia. 
In conclusion, the Congress for Democratic Change views the FrontPageAfrica Newspaper as a mirrored reflection of the freedom and independence of the media landscape in Liberia, and as such, believes a closure of its doors is a sword struck at the heartbeat of press freedom; an attempt that must be avoided if the nation is to prevent a serious throwback in its quest to accentuate democratic sustainability.  

Signed: George Solo, Chairman