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Govt to decriminalize media laws

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The New Dawn Liberia The New Dawn LiberiaPresident Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf has announced plan to submit series of bills to the Liberian Legislature that will decriminalize all media related laws and decrees that currently affect the work of journalists in the country.

President Johnson Sirleaf made the pronouncement Monday, 26 January when she delivered her Annual Message to members of the Liberian Legislature in the William R. Tolbert Joint Chambers at the Capitol Building in Monrovia.

She said that repealing those bad laws and decrees is intended to create an enabling space for Liberian journalists to do their work freely and accordingly.

She noted that expected bills that are to be submitted shortly are in compliance with the Table Mountain Declaration signed by in 2012, which calls for journalists and media practitioners to practice freely without hindrance from the national government or individuals in high places.      

President Sirleaf also called on media practitioners here to be professional and nationalistic in the discharge of their duties, saying, “While we are to submit these bills for the possible enactment by the honorable legislature, we also expect journalists and media owners to be professional and responsible.”

Since ascendancy of the Unity Party led government, several media institutions have been punished for various transgressions, including the FrontPage Africa, the New Broom and the National Chronicle newspapers.

At the same time, the Liberian leader has announced that government will finance the education female students from primary to secondary level. But it is not yet clear whether the exercise will be extended throughout the country.

She noted the educational system in Liberia is at a very low standard, with students failing public exams.

By E. J. Nathaniel Daygbor 

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