PUL Clears Its Name
-Rejects Statement From Its Vice President
The Press Union of Liberia (PUL) has distanced itself from a statement attributed to its Vice President, Mr. Octavin Williams.
Mr. Williams is quoted in the media as branding the entire Judiciary as a place of harassment, clampdown, depression, coercion and intimidation of the media.But in an official dispatch November 22, 2017, the PUL clarified that Mr. Williams’ pronouncement does not reflect the views of the leadership of the journalists’ union.
“The deportment of Mr. Williams, the Union asserts, runs contrary to the functions of the Office of PUL Vice President as provided for by the Constitution of the Press Union, “the PUL said.
The PUL said, on the outcomes of litigations involving journalists and other members of the public, it was treating them on a case-by-case basis.
“It is grossly hotheaded to collectively condemn the entire Liberian Court System without an empirical analysis of the works of the court and the deportment of journalists,” PUL President Charles Coffey stressed.
Meanwhile, the Union is urging Mr. Williams to refrain from his increasing explosive posture aimed at undermining the standing of the Union during these crucial political transitions in the history of Liberia.
The journalist group insisted that it remains constructively engaged with the Supreme Court of Liberia, its inferior organs and other democratic stakeholders, including the Legislature, in improving the legal operating environment of the media through the decriminalization of speech.
“This decriminalization of speech, the Union continues, is part of the aspirations of the PUL in protecting everyone within the framework of freedom of expression.”
Moreover, the PUL said, it was considering the ultimate penalty of expelling media institutions and practitioners who are deliberately spreading inflammatory messages through the print, electronic and social media during the course of the 2017 elections.
The Union added that it will move several steps in providing response to a new wave of ethical transgressions whereby journalists are carrying out political propaganda, noting that in some of these propaganda roles, some journalists are unashamedly posting death threats to those who disagree with their political godfathers.