The West African Journalists Association (WAJA), has joined its affiliate, the Press Union of Liberia in condemning the arson attack on the home of journalist Smith Toby and the assault on reporter James M. Karimu of Prime FM in separate incidents.
Unknown men attacked the home of Toby in the early hours of Wednesday, October 18 on the highway leading to the Roberts International Airport. He is a talk show host and Station Manager of the privately owned, OK FM in Monrovia.
“Smith Toby is one of the best known journalists and personalities on radio, striving to tell the full Liberian story,” said PUL President Charles B. Coffey in a release.
While backing calls for “The investigation into the arson attack on the home of Toby to be exhaustive, credible, and the outcome released in a timely manner,” WAJA urges the Liberian Government and all political leaders to take immediate actions to end impunity for crimes against journalists.
WAJA says, it is totally unacceptable for journalists to be targeted on account of the jobs they do, and therefore challenges competing supporters and security personnel to recognize the critical role of media practitioners especially in electioneering period.
At the same time, WAJA urges journalists to exercise the highest possible safety measures and professionalism and remain fearless in the discharge of their duties.
The West African media body wishes Liberia well as the country breaks new grounds in its democratic development, but also reminds all Liberians that the whole world is watching them and no infraction of the peace will go unnoticed.