PUL defends Mayor Koijee’s selection
By Kruah Thompson
The President of the Press Union of Liberia (PUL) Charles B. Coffey clarifies that selection of Monrovia City Mayor Jefferson T. Koijee to serve as keynote speaker at this year’s World Press Freedom Day in Liberia is not based on interest, but on the mayor’s affiliation with government.
Mr. Coffey says the fundamental objective of the celebration is to remind government officials of their commitment to press freedom, and that in order to meet this objective, the program committee decided to select key government officials, including the City Mayor.
“We also invited civil society groups along with members of the Diplomatic Corps. These groups were selected to speak on Government perspective in ensuring freedom of the press in Liberia”, he said
Speaking at the Minister of Information (MICAT’) regular briefing on Thursday, 29 April, the PUL President noted that it is equally important that everyone is given the right and opportunity to express their ventilated ideas, and not to hold them in contempt because of their political affiliation. “That is what the media stands for.” He explained.
He continued that remain objective, the media in Liberia must be absolutely independent.
Coffey said Press Freedom Day is a global event that is celebrated annually on the 3rd of May, this day is used to recognize the media’s efforts and roles in society while reminding government of press freedom and freedom of a person.
Meanwhile, scores of reports allegedly established countless attacks on journalists in Liberia of which Mayor Jefferson Koijee served as a major contributor.
In September 2020 it was reported that Mayor Koijee ordered the flogging of Journalist J. Max-Autoway Bill Diggs of Vision TV right in front of his home in Sinkor.
However, Mr. Coffey says PUL is taking steps to ensure that attacks against the media seized to happen.
Adding that at the celebration, government will be giving Liberians and the global community their position in ensuring press freedom in Liberia. Editing by Jonathan Browne