MONROVIA, Liberia - President George Manneh Weah has resubmitted to the National Legislature a Bill with modifications, to repeal some sections of the Penal Law of Liberia in an effort to decriminalise free speech and create an unfettered media environment.
Liberian President George Weah.
The Bill submitted May 31, 2018, seeks to amend Chapter 11 of Penal Law of 1978, repealing Sections 11.11 on criminal libel against the President; 11.12 on Sedition and 11.14 on criminal malevolence.
Said the Liberian leader, "Honorable Speaker, Chapter 111, Article 15 of the Constitution provides for Freedom of Speech and expression and a caveat of an abuse thereof. Additionally, Liberia is a signatory to the Table Mountain Declaration which demands that African countries abolish insult and criminal defamation law."
The President also reminded the National Legislature of the legal instruments on press freedom Liberia established, such as the Freedom of Information Law (FOI) and the Independent Information Commission.
According to President Weah, "Liberia, in anticipation of fully adhering to these legal instruments; enacted the Freedom of Information Law and established the Freedom of Information Commission.
However, there appear to be challenges in the full implementation of these as Section 11.11: Criminal Libel against the President; Section 11.12: Sedition; and Section 11.14: Criminal Malevolence of the Penal Laws of Liberia tends to impede freedom of speech and expression and acts committed thereof are considered to be criminal."
If enacted into law, the Act will be known as the Kamara Abdullai Kamara Act of Press Freedom, in honor of deceased journalist Kamara Abdullai Kamara, former President of the Press Union of Liberia (PUL).
From being one of the biggest football icons in the 1990s, to becoming the president of Liberia in 2018, George Weah made history when he was sworn in as the president of Liberia on Monday, 22 January 2018...
23 Jan 2018
President Weah emphasised the important role Kamara played in convincing national government to repeal provisions on the Penal Law of Liberia, which impede freedom of speech and independence of the press in Liberia but did not succeed.
"Therefore, the purpose of this Act is to repeal sections of the Penal Laws that have a tendency of making Liberia non-compliant," President Weah underscored.
The Liberian leader described the action is a proof of his government's commitment to uphold the constitution, Table Mountain Declaration and other international treaties relating to the Press and press-related activities.
allAfrica AllAfrica is a voice of, by and about Africa - aggregating, producing and distributing 2000 news and information items daily from over 130 African news organisations and our own reporters to an African and global public. We operate from Cape Town, Dakar, Lagos, Monrovia, Nairobi and Washington DC. Go to: http://allafrica.com/
LEGAL DISCLAIMER: This Message Board accepts no liability of legal consequences that arise from the Message Boards (e.g. defamation, slander, or other such crimes). All posted messages are the sole property of their respective authors. The maintainer does retain the right to remove any message posts for whatever reasons. People that post messages to this forum are not to libel/slander nor in any other way depict a company, entity, individual(s), or service in a false light; should they do so, the legal consequences are theirs alone. Bizcommunity.com will disclose authors' IP addresses to authorities if compelled to do so by a court of law.