Liberian Civil Society say, "Let Rodney Go!"

Liberian Civil Society calls for the immediate release of FPA managing editor

The National Civil Society Council of Liberia (NCSCL) has called on the government of Liberia to immediately release from prison, Rodney Sieh, managing editor of FrontPage Africa and reopen the paper.

In a release issued on September 10, 2013, the organization noted that the verdict against Rodney Sieh that fined him USD$1.5 million has too many excesses, some of which are in violation of the Liberian Constitution.

According to the release, the fine itself violates Article 21 of the Liberian Constitution, which states that “excessive bail shall not be required, non-excessive fines imposed, non-excessive punishment.” The release quoted African Charter as saying, “Sanctions shall never be as severe as to inhibit the rights of freedom of expression, including by others.”

The release signed by Rev. Chris W. Toe, secretary general of the National Civil Society Council of Liberia and Madam Francis R. Deigh Greaves, National Chairperson, said, “US$ 1.5 million restitution by prison term means each month US$25 and will take Sieh 60, 000 years to complete the prison term.”

“The Council believes that verdict is too harsh and severe and tantamount to a death sentence or life imprisonment,” the release said.

The Liberian Civil Society’s release came after its second session held on Thursday, September 5, 2013 during which time the organization deliberated on the ongoing imprisonment of managing editor of Front Page Africa, Rodney Sieh.

The National Civil Society Council of Liberia comprises 145 organizations across the nation.
Meanwhile, the organization is calling on the government of Liberia to take a second look at the misapplication of fund for which Dr. Christopher Tote was indicted by the General Auditing Commission. The government later said the GAC’s audit report was not credible and lacked sufficient evidence to prosecute anyone.