Saturday, June 14, 2014

Liberia: Journalist allegedly assaulted by senator's staffers while on assignment


Community radio journalists have issued a media blockade on former rebel leader and senator of Nimba County, Hon. Prince Y. Johnson. It is alleged that staffers of Senator Johnson attacked and brutally manhandled journalist Franklin Doloque at Radio Gompa in Nimba County.

Mr. Doloque – who is also a correspondent for the state's radio Liberia Broadcasting System (LBS) – was flogged by men believed to be staffers in the offices of Nimba County Senator Prince Y. Johnson. The journalist was reportedly performing his professional duty when assaulted.

His assailants allegedly disrupted normal broadcast activities at Radio Gompa and later manhandled him for taking photographs of their action. Senator Prince Johnson's hirelings are said to have held other staffers of the station hostage.

In a bid to amicably resolve the matter, the Press Union of Liberia (PUL) wrote Senator Johnson and the Liberia National Police (LNP) to immediately investigate the matter.

The Press Union of Liberia said it also contacted a team of lawyers to press for justice, should Senator Johnson and the police fail to appropriately intervene in the situation.

The parent body of community radio stations across the country, the Association of Liberia Community Radio (ALICOR) has meanwhile called for a conference with Senator Johnson and journalist Doloque to bring an end to the ongoing dispute. Meanwhile, Senator Johnson has denied the allegation.