Date: Thu, 25 Dec 1997 16:59:21 -0500
Sender: The African Global Experience <AGE-L@UGA.CC.UGA.EDU>
From: Marpessa Kupendua <nattyreb@IX.NETCOM.COM>
Subject: !*Crackdown on journalists in Liberia over police brutality stories
>Date: Thu, 25 Dec 1997 11:08:19 -0600
>From: Michael Novick <firstname.lastname@example.org> >Subject: Crackdown on journalists in Liberia over police brutality
MONROVIA, Liberia (PANA) - The Ducor Broadcasting Corporation of Monrovia said Tuesday it was concerned about the fate of broadcaster Alex Redd who was abducted Sunday by unknown men in rural Liberia.
The radio, privately-owned, said it was consulting the government, Press Union of Liberia and local human rights groups about Redd's fate.
His elder brother, Benjamin Redd, told reporters Monday that the abduction took place, near Gbarnga, from a taxi in which they were travelling after attending the funeral of slain opposition politicians Samuel Dokie and three family members in Sanniquellie, 260 kilometres northeast of Monrovia.
However, the radio said a senior government official had assured it the government had ordered security forces in Gbarnga, Bong Country, to search for the missing journalist.
Meanwhile, local daily newspapers also expressed concern Tuesday for the fate of four missing Liberian journalists who last Sunday covered the funeral of the Dokies in Sanniquellie. One newspaper said the journalists had said they would visit the site in Kokoya, outside Gbarnga, where the beheaded bodies of Dokies were found burnt earlier in December.
In another development, two editors of the independent newspaper were arrested and briefly detained by police Monday following publication of a story on police brutality.
Upon their release, Police Director Joe Tate chided Managing Editor Nyekeh Forkpa and News Editor Stanley Seakor for publishing his photograph with a story in the paper's Monday edition captioned, Man, 34, Dies In Police Cell.
Tate claimed his photograph with the story suggested the attitude of a single policeman is the attitude of the entire police force. He later cautioned the journalist to be very careful,
He said: The boys can do anything anytime to anybody without me knowing, and maybe as soon as I get to know, it will be late.
In a related development, the president of the Press Union of Liberia, Abraham Massally, said Tuesday he and four editors of independent newspapers and radio stations had received anonymous death threats.
He told a news conference that the callers told them some individuals had been planning in Brewerville, on the outskirts of Monrovia, to even us for reasons we do not know.