Pres. Weah Raises Red Flag
-No Impunity For Free Speech Abusers
Freedom of speech and of the press has its consequences, and citizens of the countries in which the culture of freedom of speech was first introduced are cognizant of the responsibilities and consequence therefore.
Unfortunately, many Liberians, including some self-styled political commentators are crossing the ‘redline’ that borders on the constitutionally and universally guaranteed freedom that talks of free speech and of the press.However, President George Manneh Weah is making frantic efforts to strengthen Liberia’s democracy is not being adored but vilified by those who are abusing the freedom of the press and freedom of speech.
There are those who are blaming the President for not taking the appropriate legal action to prevent the flagrant abuse of the freedom that guarantees press and speech in Liberia.
In his response to such a blame, the Liberian leader has warned those who are on the redline alreday, and perhaps, those who have crossed it to be aware “You can say whatever you want to, but be warned that cusses, insults and incitement of violence will never again be permitted under my administration,” the President asserted, adding that much of the unlawful and untraditional attitudes exhibited in the country were tolerated so much for long and it was time to handle them within the confine of the law.”
According to the Liberian leader, the time is coming soon when those who insult national leaders, incite public violence, make reckless comments about others and disrupt the peace would not go with impunity.
He noted that many people are abusing the right to free speech and free press and it was time to put a check. “Our country is a country of law. People have all the rights to speak out, criticize government or anyone but that right comes with responsibility. Very soon, those who take to public platforms and go beyond the bounds of free speech and insult me and incite the public to violence will be held in consistent with the laws.”
Meanwhile, Pres. Weah emphasized that Liberia’s law and tradition forbid reckless vulgarity but promote respect for one another, particularly elders and leaders.