E D I T O R I A L
The Liberian Listener is calling on the Liberian government to commence an investigation into the death of Liberian journalist Zenu Miller. Before his death, the broadcast journalist complained that he was attacked by state security officers, of the Executive Protective Service or the EPS, the presidential detail of the presidency.
The Liberian Listener rejects the Liberian govt rush to obtaining or performing an autopsy, while at the same time refusing to investigate who is responsible for manhandling this journalist while abusing his constitutional and fundamental rights. Practicing journalism around the world, and in most countries can be a very dangerous trade or undertaking, more so Africa, but especially —Liberia. Attacks are on the increase in Liberian against Liberian pressmen and women and especially independent journalists.
The Liberian Listener notes, that the Press Union of Liberia or the PUL, seems paralyzed in the face of advocating for media practitioners in the country, and this is regrettable. Thant this promising and young journalist, Zenu Miller complained on his Facebook page that he was brutalized by state security, and yet nothing was done to bring the alleged perpetrators to justice is unfortunate in a country, where the decriminalization of free speech is being touted and hailed in international circles that press freedom is not under attack in Liberia, series of attacks on journalists in recent times including a Frontpageafrica journalist, Charles Walker, and others will negate this assertion.
To date, there has been no denial nor confirmation about his allegations that he was manhandled by the PRESIDENT’S elite security, what we see however are nothing but lopsided and inadequate explanations especially coming from the Presidential Press Secretary that the journalist did not file a “formal complaint”, therefore no action has been taken to bring to justice those that are responsible for attacking him.
The Liberian Listener notes that in the midst of this pussyfooting, by the government to properly investigate the crime committed against its own citizen, the man is dead. We once more called on the Press Union of Liberia to be assertive in advocating for the Liberian journalist, while commending the Committee to Protect Journalists or the CPJ, for raising its voice at a critical time when the umbrella organization that is supposed to speak for journalists in the country has all but neglected its moral and legal responsibilities.
The Liberian Listener is admonishing the Liberian govt to investigate this matter speedily, in an effort to bring closure to this issue
The Liberian Listener notes with great regrets, that Presidential Press Secretary, Solo Kelgbeh cannot be serious when he said on Tuesday this week, as pressure mounts from media practitioners to investigate the death of Journalist Miller that, “Because we saw his post [on his Facebook page] and other people were trying to take it seriously; therefore, we called him and he explained to us what happened and we were working with the PUL President to see how it happened and he’s gone,” Kelgbeh said.
The Press Secretary continues, “Because of that, the government of Liberia through the Ministry of Justice not to take his boy from the mortuary until an independent autopsy is done. The family will be given the chance to identify their own pathology[pathologist] to perform the autopsy and that the government will pay for cost attached to conduct it.”
Press secretary Kelgbeh went on to say: there was no formal communication sent to the government of Liberia on the matter relating to the assertion of EPS brutality against the late Miller. The Liberian Listener once more rejects this explanation categorically and unfortunately!
The Liberian Listener calls on this government and reminds the press secretary, that journalist Miller needs not filed an official complaint about his allegations before action is taken to investigate the crime committed against him or that disciplinary actions taken against those who attacked him. This shameful and negligent explanation coming from the Executive Mansion is preposterous, senseless, insane and unacceptable. The Listener demands an immediate investigation for this Liberian CITIZEN and journalist!
Finally, The Liberian Listener notes that Liberia is sliding into very terrible and grotesque terrain, wherein the civil liberties and rights of Liberian citizens are continuously being violated perversely by this government and its functionaries, and that this uncouth wave of lawlessness is a serious cause for concerns, in post-war reconstruction Liberia.
Main Photo: Liberia broadcast journlist, Zenu Miller, alledgedly brutalized by presidential guards